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Arun Kumar is the International Trade Administration’s Assistant Secretary for Global Markets and Director General of the U.S. and Foreign Commercial Service.
I have to say that 2015 has been a big year for the International Trade Administration’s SelectUSA team — and it’s only getting better!
The SelectUSA initiative was developed in 2011 to attract more foreign direct investment (FDI) into the United States, resulting in a stronger economy and new jobs across the nation. Through 2014, SelectUSA has helped generate more than $20 billion of investments in the United States. In 2014, 5.8 million people in the United States were employed by U.S. subsidiaries of foreign firms.
It seems like just yesterday that more than 2,600 senior U.S. officials, international investors, economic development organizations (EDOs), local elected officials, and academics gathered at the 2015 SelectUSA Investment Summit just outside Washington, D.C., in March, to explore and advance investment opportunities across the United States.
On the heels of that very successful event, I am delighted to participate in the SelectUSA Greater China Roadshow, May 18-29. We have great programs scheduled in nine cities, starting in Hong Kong and continuing to Shenzhen, Dongguan, Guangzhou, Shanghai, Hangzhou, Dalian, Anshan, and Shenyang.
China is among the fastest-growing sources of investment in the United States, with a compound annual growth rate (2009-2013) exceeding 41.5 percent. China also brought the largest private-sector delegation to the SelectUSA Summit in March. Clearly, there is a great deal of interest in exploring investment opportunities in the United States among our Chinese colleagues.
On May 22, I will join officials from the 24 U.S. EDOs and their partners, as well as potential Chinese investors, in Guangzhou – ranked the No. 1 city for business by Forbes China. Representatives from 11 states and the District of Columbia will present their investment projects to leading Chinese investors.
Here’s the impressive list of participating EDOs:
- Brooks City Base – San Antonio, Texas
- California-China Office of Trade and Investment – San Francisco, Calif.
- City of Canton – Canton, Ohio
- Columbus 2020 – Columbus, Ohio
- Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Center for Direct Investment – Harrisburg, Pa.
- District of Columbia Center China – Washington, D.C.
- Empire State Development Corporation – Buffalo, N.Y.
- Enterprise Florida – Tallahassee, Fla.
- Great Lakes Regional Center, LLC – Chicago, Ill.
- Greater Washington China Investment Center – Washington, D.C.
- Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity – Chicago, Ill.
- Ironwood Global Advisors – Columbia, S.C.
- Jobs Ohio – Columbus, Ohio
- Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation – Los Angeles, Calif.
- Mayor’s Association of Portage, Stark, and Summit Counties – Akron, Ohio
- Michigan Economic Development Corporation – Lansing, Mich.
- Missouri Department of Economic Development – Jefferson City, Mo.
- Morton Economic Development Council – Morton, Ill.
- Team Northeast Ohio – Cleveland, Ohio
- South Carolina Department of Commerce – Columbia, S.C.
- Texas International Business Accelerator – San Antonio, Texas
- Union Station Technology Center – South Bend, Ind.
- Village of Reminderville – Reminderville, Ohio
- Virginia Economic Development Partnership – Richmond, Va.
This year’s event builds on the tremendously successful roadshow that highlighted opportunities within China’s Pearl River Delta region last year. Our aggressive itinerary offers participants an unprecedented opportunity to meet with hundreds of potential investors.
The potential investors understand that the United States has a great deal to offer. Last year, FDI into the United States totaled $92 billion, based on preliminary estimates by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. Our nation continues to host more FDI than any other country in the world, with a total stock of $2.8 trillion. We were just ranked No. 1 in the A.T. Kearney Foreign Direct Investment Confidence Index for a third straight year in 2015.
The United States is the land of opportunity, and I know the SelectUSA roadshow is presenting an entirely new view of that opportunity to our friends throughout China.
Representatives from 24 U.S. economic development organizations and their partners participate in the SelectUSA Greater China Roadshow, visiting nine cities in China to promote investment opportunities throughout the United States.