Archive for the ‘SelectUSA’ Category

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German FDI in the United States – Investor Confidence on the Rise

April 3, 2014

Amy Zecha is an International Investment Specialist with SelectUSA. Her portfolio covers Central and Eastern Europe, including Germany.

Image shows two businessmen meeting face to face. Are you an international investor based in Germany? Meet with SelectUSA representatives and U.S. states, cities, and counties to find new investment opportunities!

Are you an international investor based in Germany? Meet with SelectUSA representatives and U.S. states, cities, and counties to find new investment opportunities!

Ranking as the third largest investor in the United States, Germany plays an important role in the U.S. economy with more than 10 percent of all FDI in the country.  Of the $2.7 trillion in FDI stock recorded in 2012, Germany accounted for more than $272.2 billionSelectUSA has identified Germany as a key focus market and will lead multiple delegations of economic development organizations (EDOs) to Germany throughout the coming year, including groups to Hannover Messe in April, and Automechanika in September.

The German American Chamber of Commerce does an annual survey of German-owned subsidiaries in the United States called the German American Business Outlook. This report indicated there was a five-year high in investor confidence, with 98 percent of German firms in the United States expecting to see business growth in 2014. This level of confidence is reflected by the 31 percent of respondents planning the launch of new product lines and 75 percent anticipating making new hires for the coming year.

Survey respondents expressed some concerns about the lack of a skilled workforce in the United States, but still remained positive about the overall outlook in 2014. This upbeat outlook may be due in part to the various efforts by both the United States and Germany to address workforce issues, including the German Skills Initiative.

This collaborative effort between the German Embassy and the U.S. Department of Commerce focuses on bringing the German dual-track vocational training to the United States, concentrating on areas where high-skilled manufacturing clusters are located. The program matches German and American businesses with educational institutions to help create workforce training programs that will help produce workers with the specific skill sets demanded by the businesses of today – and tomorrow.

Register now for the Hannover Messe 2014 investment event

The commitment to workforce development and working with the German business community is demonstrated at all levels of the U.S. Department of Commerce. In November 2013, Secretary Penny Pritzker traveled to Munich, Germany to meet with German CEOs interested in establishing facilities (or expanding existing operations) in the United States. During her trip, she visited with business leaders from BMW, Frauenhofer, and iwis Motorsystems to learn more about their best practices for training and apprenticeship programs.

These kinds of relationships and exchanges on best practices will only enhance the attractiveness of the United States to international companies. As future workforce and training initiatives and partnerships come online, we expect to see growing interest in the U.S. market – not just from German companies, but others around the world.

Author’s Note: For potential investors interested in speaking directly to SelectUSA representatives and meet with U.S. states, cities, and counties, we will be hosting the USA Investment Center at Hannover Messe 2014. To schedule an appointment, please visit http://selectusa.tema.de/.

To learn more about SelectUSA and our global programs for both EDOs and international investors please visit www.selectUSA.gov or follow us on Twitter at @SelectUSA

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From Westerns to Dance Dramas, U.S. Filmmakers Pitch Their Projects to Chinese Investors

April 2, 2014

Marsha McDaniel is a Commercial Officer at the U.S. Consulate for Hong Kong and Macau.

Our team met with U.S. film producers and Chinese investors at Hong Kong Filmart to support investment.

Our Commercial Service team met with U.S. film producers and Chinese investors at Hong Kong Filmart to support investment in upcoming projects.

What do cowboy shows, hip hop dancer dramas, and adventure thrillers have in common? These are some of the exciting projects that U.S. filmmakers pitched to Chinese investors during SelectUSA’s debut at Hong Kong’s Filmart, Asia’s largest film and media trade show and the third largest film industry trade show in the world.

Commercial Service staff at the U.S. Consulates in Hong Kong and Guangzhou jointly organized this first-ever SelectUSA event at the trade show. The event, which was titled “China’s Pearl River Delta: Opportunities to Finance U.S. Productions” introduced investors to some of the exciting projects that U.S. filmmakers are currently developing.

A Captivated Audience

Five independent U.S. production companies presented a broad range of film projects to a captivated audience of roughly 30 investors. Audience members were clearly excited as U.S. filmmakers pitched numerous movie and television ideas, all with significant revenue potential.

According to Scott Shaw, Senior Commercial Officer at the U.S. Consulate in Hong Kong: “It is an exciting time for U.S. and China movie producers to work together as U.S.-China co-production benefits both the U.S. and Chinese film industries.”

Jim Rigassio, Principal Commercial Officer at the U.S. Consulate in Guangzhou, China, noted: “From a diplomatic perspective, activities such as this help to bring our two countries closer together, and I hope to see more U.S.-China coproduction in the future.”

Filmmakers: Opportunity to pitch in 2015

Based on the fantastic feedback from participants, Commercial Service teams in Hong Kong and Guangzhou will explore hosting a similar event at the 2015 Filmart show in Hong Kong. U.S. filmmakers with an interest in seeking investment and co-production opportunities are encouraged to get in touch with our Commercial Service staff to learn more.

This was the first of many events that will be organized under the Commercial Service’s Pearl River Delta Initiative, which aims to assist U.S. companies tap into south China’s $1 trillion dollar economy.

How else can we help you?

SelectUSA, along with our teams in Hong Kong and Guangzhou, work with investors and U.S. economic development organizations to facilitate investment into the United States. We provide information and counseling, help you connect to the right people, and serve as an ombudsman to resolve issues related to the federal regulatory system. We also create platforms, such as our upcoming Pearl River Delta Road Show, to bring investors and economic developers face to face.

If you have questions about foreign investment or if we can help you at all, visit the SelectUSA website for more information!

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Bringing Lessons Home From Korea

March 26, 2014
SelectUSA Director Vinai Thummalapally speaks to investors in Korea about services available through the SelectUSA program.

SelectUSA Director Vinai Thummalapally speaks to investors in Korea about services available through the SelectUSA program.

Vinai Thummalapally is the Executive Director of the SelectUSA Program.

South Korea is currently the 16th largest and 14th fastest-growing source of investment in the United States.

That investment has grown rapidly – at a compound annual growth rate of 14.9 percent from 2008 to 2012. The U.S. subsidiaries of Korean companies directly employ more than 32,000 people in the United States, contributing almost $60 billion to the U.S. economy.

These firms export almost $9.7 billion worth of goods from the United States.

Those are great numbers, and we want to see them continue to grow.

To that end, I am excited to announce that our Commercial Service team in Seoul, Korea is hosting a Road Show event on Friday, May 16 – the week before an already announced Japan Road Show. The events will provide an opportunity for U.S. economic development organizations to connect with Korean companies interested in investing or increasing their investment in the United States.

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I recently returned from a trip to Seoul, Korea, where I had the pleasure of meeting with our team at the U.S. Embassy, our partners in the Government of the Republic of Korea, and investors who are interested in setting up shop in the United States. Together we traveled to different companies in Korea to get feedback and talk about their experiences working with the U.S. I also enjoyed sitting down with investors and trade associations to talk about SelectUSA and its services for helping companies expand investment in the U.S. These conversations help inform programming so that participants get the most out of events like the upcoming road shows.

While in Seoul, I joined U.S. Ambassador Sung Kim and Senior Commercial Service Officer Jim Sullivan to welcome officials from Hankook Tires and congratulate them on their announcement of the firm’s first U.S. manufacturing facility in Clarksville, Tennessee. The company is investing more than $800 million in the new plant, which is expected to create approximately 1,800 full-time jobs.

We also met with Samsung to learn more about its significant investments in the United States, including its recently announced project to build a new Silicon Valley R&D Center in Mountain View, California.

Another stop included the Korea International Trade Association (KITA), which represents more than 71,000 companies. We had the opportunity to talk with some of their members about President Obama’s expansion of SelectUSA, including investor visas and how our interagency team at the U.S. Embassy in Seoul – which includes staff from the U.S. Departments of State and Agriculture – can help them invest in the U.S.

We look forward to working with the states, cities, and regional organizations who take advantage of the opportunities at the upcoming Road Show in Korea.

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SelectUSA: Enhanced, Engaged… and in Japan!

March 20, 2014

Andrew Wylegala is the Minister Counselor for Commercial Affairs at the Embassy of the United States in Japan.

From left: SelectUSA Executive Director Vinai Thummalapally, Minister of State for Economic and Fiscal Policy Akira Amari, and Ambassador Caroline Kennedy at the Investment Showcase in Tokyo. View more photos from the event on the ITA Facebook page.

From left: SelectUSA Executive Director Vinai Thummalapally, Japan Minister of State for Economic and Fiscal Policy Akira Amari, and Ambassador Caroline Kennedy at the Investment Showcase in Tokyo. View more photos on the ITA Facebook page.

Japan is the second largest source of foreign direct investment (FDI) into the United States, with a total stock valued at $309.4 billion as of the end of 2012. According to our partners at the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO), Japan registered its second-highest ever outbound investment level in 2012 at $122 billion, and Japanese investors chose to send 26 percent of that to American shores.

FDI isn’t just about capital: In 2011 more than 686,600 U.S. workers were employed by the U.S. subsidiaries of Japanese companies with an average wage of $78,356.

It’s clear that our investment relationship with Japan is a key contributor to the U.S. economy. That’s why our SelectUSA team and Commercial Service personnel in Japan joined U.S. Ambassador Caroline Kennedy to host an investment showcase in Tokyo.

Japan’s Minister of State for Economic & Fiscal Policy Akira Amari and Ambassador Kennedy stressed at the investment showcase that few aspects of the broad United States-Japan partnership are more mutually beneficial than investment.

Dynamism was the first key concept. Japan has resumed its role as a powerhouse in cross-border direct investment. Japanese investors also continue to believe in the opportunities offered by the U.S. market.

For example, in 2012-13, Toyota, Nissan, and Honda expanded already sizable U.S. manufacturing footprints, contributing to the renaissance in American manufacturing.

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So what’s new? A wave of investment is under way, embracing sectors from cellular communications to carbon fiber; improved tomato seeds to Kentucky bourbon; economy hotels to the limits of the Japanese and American imagination!

A testament to the success of this investment showcase is Leslie Ken Yamada, president of Japan’s Sanikleen. He spoke about his company bringing its business model to Hawaii, having made important connections in the Hawaiian market with the help of the SelectUSA team.

Osaka-based Daiwa House and Dallas-headquartered Lincoln Property Company signed a memorandum of understanding to develop $1.5 billion worth of multi-family homes during the next three years, beginning with a joint project in Ft. Worth.

Mutuality was the second theme as Minister Amari and others stressed that the benefits of cross-border direct investment are multi-directional, flowing well beyond the country of investment, in the form of access to new markets and the generation of ideas that bubble up when individuals from diverse backgrounds work side-by-side.

Ambassador Kennedy observed: “Not only do investments create growth and jobs; they create advances that benefit society as a whole.”

For example, Olympus Surgical Technologies broke ground in December for a $37 million facility in Brooklyn Park, Minn. As an R&D, design, and manufacturing operation, the improvements in non-invasive surgery that engineers from both countries will develop in Minnesota will benefit patients worldwide.

We’ll continue to work closely with our friends in Japan to promote and facilitate investment. Thanks to the Association of American State Offices, JETRO, the Japan Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the American Chamber of Commerce in Japan, and the Japanese government for contributing so much to our continued partnership.

If you’re a U.S. economic development organization aiming to attract increased FDI from Japan, please contact SelectUSA. We’re organizing a Road Show, May 19-23, in Tokyo, Nagoya, and Osaka, and we’d love to have you join! Last year it sold out, so get in touch soon!

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President Obama’s FY 2015 Budget Proposes a $36.7 Million Increase for ITA

March 14, 2014

Ken Hyatt is the Acting Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade.A view of the front of US Department of Commerce Building Washington, D.C.

The International Trade Administration (ITA) staff works diligently to help U.S. businesses – small, medium, and large – sell their products and services across the globe, which helps grow the U.S. economy and improve our global competitiveness. President Obama highlighted the importance of ITA’s work through his FY 2015 budget request.

The President released his fiscal year 2015 budget last week, will full Commerce Department budget information and analyses released today. The FY15 budget included $497.3 million for ITA, which is a $36.7 million increase from the $460.6 million appropriated in 2014. This increase will allow us to better serve American businesses through expanding access to markets, ensuring a level playing field for doing business abroad and helping foreign companies invest in the U.S.

In addition, the budget includes a call from the President to rename ITA the International Trade and Investment Administration, a move that more accurately reflects the mission of our organization and acknowledges our ongoing efforts to attract foreign direct investment to the United States. It also more accurately reflects the mission of ITA and how we help create jobs, not just from exports, but from inward investment.

The United States is the largest recipient of foreign direct investment (FDI) in the world. In 2012, FDI brought $160 billion into the United States economy. In addition, FDI supported more than 5.6 million jobs in the United States in 2011. That’s 4 percent of our total private sector employment.

The SelectUSA program is the first federal-wide effort to promote and facilitate business investment as an engine for job growth and economic development. It serves as the single point of contact at the national level to help international and domestic firms grow and invest in the United States.

With more money and a more accurate name for our institution, we are confident we’ll help even more American businesses grow and create jobs through our many resources and services! If your business is ready to start exporting or re-shoring, take a look at our website to get started making the most of international markets.

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FDI Supporting the U.S. Economy

February 10, 2014

Felicia Pullam is the Director of Outreach for the SelectUSA Program.

We’re excited to announce the release of SelectUSA’s report on Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in the United States: Drivers of U.S. Economic Competitiveness

The paper takes a closer look at the impact of FDI on the U.S. economy. Included in the report is an analysis of the competitive advantages that make the United States an attractive destination for investors and trends in FDI by geography and industry sector.

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Foreign direct investment is a prime source of capital, job creation, innovation, and cross-border trade. FDI has continued to flourish in the United States because firms worldwide recognize the United States as an innovative and stable market executed in the world’s largest economy. The United States offers an unmatched opportunity for success due to its renowned educational institutions, growing industry clusters, first-class research and development centers, protection for intellectual property rights, an entrepreneurial environment, access to global markets, a predictable regulatory climate, and increasingly competitive cost factors.

Key takeaways include:

  • The United States is both the largest recipient and source of FDI in the world. FDI has long been an integral part of our economy. In 2012, the total stock of direct investment in the United States was $2.7 trillion and FDI inflows totaled $160.1 billion.
  • FDI creates jobs:  As of 2011, the most recent data available, majority-owned subsidiaries of multinational firms with U.S. operations employ more than 5.6 million workers and pay an average annual compensation of $77,600.
  • FDI contributes to U.S. innovation and helps drive exports:  These firms also spent more than $45 billion in research and development here and accounted for 20.5 percent of U.S. goods exported in 2011.
  • The five largest country sources of FDI in the United States are the United Kingdom, Japan, Germany, Canada, and France, according to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis.  The latest estimates of FDI stock by ultimate beneficial owner reveal that Together, these economies account for nearly 61.5 percent of total FDI stock.  In addition, markets across Asia, Latin America, and Europe have substantially grown their FDI position in the United States in recent years.
  • The United States wins out in investment climate according to the June 2013 FDI Confidence Index, A.T. Kearney awarded the United States the top spot.  The World Economic Forum’s (WEF) Global Competitiveness Index ranks the United States among the top ten economies based on strengths in innovation, education, and overall size of economy.

Download the report here: Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in the United States: Drivers of U.S. Economic Competitiveness.

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America is Open for Investment

January 22, 2014

Vinai Thummalapally is the Executive Director of the SelectUSA Program. This post originally appeared on the Department of Commerce blog. 

Ambassador Vinai Thummalapally is the Executive Director of the SelectUSA Program.

Ambassador Vinai Thummalapally is the Executive Director of the SelectUSA Program.

In 2011, President Obama launched SelectUSA, the first-ever U.S. government-wide initiative to attract foreign direct investment (FDI) in the United States, with the hopes that the Department of Commerce would help facilitate both foreign and domestic business relationships and make FDI a diplomatic and foreign policy priority.

We took an enormous step forward three months ago, when the Commerce Department hosted the first-ever SelectUSA Investment Summit in Washington, DC. The summit was such a success that it sold out, and more than 1,300 business and government leaders from nearly 60 countries and economic development organizations from 48 states, the District of Columbia and three territories gathered to learn about the advantages of doing business in the United States and to explore investment opportunities. Perhaps most importantly, the Summit helped match potential investors with economic development organizations to help revitalize American communities and create new job opportunities.

Thankfully, we can continue to build upon the success of the Summit, now that the budget deal has been approved.  The agreement will allow up to $7 million to expand and enhance the program, and we at the Commerce Department are pleased to have this extra support to bring more companies to our shores.

In fact, the U.S. has welcomed investment to our shores for centuries. Our market has provided long-term stability and unmatched returns for investors. Today, the United States is the largest recipient of FDI in the world, and in 2012 alone, more than $160 billion dollars of FDI flowed here. Total foreign stock and assets are measured not in billions, but in the trillions of dollars. Clearly, FDI is an important contributor to our economy.

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But don’t take my word for it – SelectUSA has already helped bring jobs to the U.S. and foster many business relationships, both foreign and domestic.

For example, the Southern Idaho Economic Development Organization (SIEDO) approached SelectUSA for assistance as they worked with Frulact, a Portugal-based producer of fruit-based ingredients for food. SelectUSA advised SIEDO on the issues that would be critical for the company to consider, while also connecting them directly with our team on the ground in Portugal. After utilizing our advice, SIEDO and Frulact announced plans in October for a state-of-the-art 200,000 square foot facility in Rupert, Idaho, that is expected to employ at least 100 people.

We’re hearing plenty more success stories like this, and the SelectUSA program has proven to be a great “bang for the buck.”

We’re excited to continue enhancing SelectUSA with more congressional funding, and the Department of Commerce is ready to do all it can to connect investors with communities…and to open all avenues to guarantee that American is Open for Business.

After all, as President Obama said in his keynote address at the summit a few months ago, “When you bet on America, that bet pays off.”

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