Posts Tagged ‘economic development organizations’

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Driving German FDI – the U.S. as a Manufacturing & Distribution Hub, and an Export Platform

April 24, 2014

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

This post originally appeared on the Department of Commerce blog.Inward foreign direct investment (FDI) stock totaled $2.7 trillion in 2012, a 6 percent increase from the prior year, which equals the average annual growth rate between 2001-2011.

SelectUSA just finished another successful event at the Hannover Messe manufacturing trade fair – the largest in the world – and now we’re gearing up for another big event in Germany. In September, we’ll be participating in Automechanika, a global trade show for the automotive industry. We hope you’ll join us!

It’s been a great couple of months for German investment in the United States, and we’ve had some exciting news in the auto industry. In a post last month, ITA’s Tradeology blog highlighted some impressive figures – including the 115% growth in U.S. auto exports of passenger vehicles between 2009 and 2013.

It is therefore no surprise to see international automakers – such as Germany’s BMW – continue to grow their U.S. manufacturing operations. At the end of March, Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker joined BMW officials and others in Spartanburg, SC in celebrating the start of production of the X4 – and the announcement of the brand new X7. The addition of this model line will make Spartanburg BMW’s largest manufacturing facility in the world.

BMW, as a business, knows the value of manufacturing in the United States, and also the advantages of using the U.S. as an export platform. Today, BMW is one of the top auto exporters in the United States. More than half of all the cars produced by BMW at their Spartanburg plant are shipped to other markets beyond our borders. BMW has clearly harnessed the power of U.S. manufacturing and successfully coupled it with the export opportunities offered by U.S. trade agreements to maximize the potential of their U.S. operations.

This is just one case study of German success in the U.S. market. Success comes in many sizes – sometimes it’s the small or medium-sized enterprise (SME) that makes the commitment to the United States, like PTF Pfuller, a manufacturer of precision parts and assemblies for the semiconductor, food, medical technology, laser and aerospace industries. The CEO, Mr. Oliver Zintl spent two years working with Jenny Trick of Racine County Economic Development Corporation, after an initial meeting at the USA Investment Center organized by SelectUSA and CS Germany at Hannover Messe 2011. PTF established its U.S. division in Sturtevant, Wisconsin in August 2013 with initial plans to start with a small sales staff – but then noted the potential to add manufacturing and a distribution center within five years, creating at least 50 jobs. PTF cited the tremendous work of Racine County and Milwaukee 7 (a regional economic development organization), as well as the central location, access to existing customers in the region, and the quality of theGateway Technical College – which offers the potential for a nearby source of talent for the company.

These are two great case studies of German-owned companies setting up shop or expanding existing ones in the United States – and further evidence of why SelectUSA has identified Germany as a key focus market for FDI attraction. German investment in the U.S. accounts for over 10 percent of all FDI in the country, a significant figure when taken into account that the U.S. is the largest recipient of FDI in the world. In an effort to support this continued economic relationship, SelectUSA is already planning events in Frankfurt in conjunction with Automechanika in September.

This is just part of a great line-up of events SelectUSA has planned for the rest of the year. Stay tuned for more details around Automechanika and other events – and make sure to sign up for our free online newsletter to stay up to date on all our latest events!

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

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Join the Conversation on Investment

April 9, 2014

Vinai Thummalapally is the Executive Director of the SelectUSA Program. 

Vinai Thummalapally is the Executive Director of the SelectUSA program

This post originally appeared on the Department of Commerce blog.

This month, SelectUSA is really upping our game when it comes to online engagement around investment.  We hope you’ll join the conversation on Twitter at #SelectUSA!

Our colleagues across the Commerce Department will be sharing their thoughts on how innovation, data and hard work contribute to job creation. We’re collaborating with our friends at the State Department’s Economic & Business Affairs Bureau, as well as with our Commerce and State colleagues throughout the United States and globally at our embassies and consulates.

But we’re not stopping with Commerce and State. We’re reaching out across the U.S. federal government through the Interagency Investment Working Group (IIWG), to more than twenty other agencies.  (You can find all of our Commerce and IIWG twitter profiles here.)

This is a big conversation, but most importantly, we hope to be hearing from YOU.

We’re broadening the conversation at #SelectUSA to talk about how investment in the United States drives job creation and how we can work together to attract even more jobs.

Did you know that, as of 2011 (the most recent data available), U.S. subsidiaries of foreign companies employed more than 5.6 million workers and paid an average annual salary of $77,600?  According to preliminary estimates from the Bureau of Economic Analysis, foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows totaled $187.5 billion in 2013, rising from $160.1 billion in 2012.  The United States also recently took back the top spot in A.T. Kearney’s FDI Confidence Index.

What do these numbers mean to you?  Are you an investor looking to expand your operations in the United States?  Are you seeking to attract more investment to your town, city, county or state?  How can SelectUSA assist you?  

We offer services to U.S. and international investors, as well as to U.S. economic development organizations (EDOs.)  If you need information on the U.S. investment climate, related federal resources, and the latest trends – we’re happy to help.  Are you looking for the right contact at the state or local level?  Could you use some assistance on the ground in more than 120 countries?  Do you have a question or problem related to investment and federal rules or regulations?  We’re here to help you get the answers you need.

Tell us what you think on Twitter by following us at @SelectUSA and using the hashtag #SelectUSA.  What are your challenges?  What are your successes?  How is your company creating jobs by investing in the United States?  How is your location attracting investors and jobs?

We look forward to hearing from you at #SelectUSA!

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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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FDI is a Top Priority for U.S. Economic Development Organizations

August 28, 2013

Paul Krutko is President & CEO of Ann Arbor SPARK, an economic development organization serving the Ann Arbor region of Central Michigan. He is also the current chairman of the board of the International Economic Development Council, the largest non-profit, non-partisan association for economic development and its practitioners.

Paul Krutko is President & CEO of Ann Arbor SPARK, an economic development organization serving the Ann Arbor region of Central Michigan. He is also the current chairman of the board of the International Economic Development Council, the largest non-profit, non-partisan association for economic development and its practitioners.

Paul Krutko

Each incoming chair of the International Economic Development Council (IEDC), the largest organization of economic development professionals in the world, establishes a theme for the upcoming year that will be his or her top priority.

I determined that emphasizing the attraction of foreign direct investment (FDI) as a local and regional economic development strategy would be my theme for 2013. At mid-year we are making significant progress on this priority. I am happy to report that IEDC, through our partnership with SelectUSA, the International Trade Administration, and our coordination with the Economic Development Administration and the Department of Commerce as a whole, has pushed FDI to the forefront of the minds of our members like never before!

IEDC and economic developers from across the U.S. have traveled to Washington this week for a special White House Forum to meet with senior administration officials to discuss topics critical to job creation. From access to capital to workforce development, the challenges facing our profession and the communities we serve are as complex as they are diverse. We are grateful for this opportunity and want to express our appreciation to the Department of Commerce for inviting us to this conference.

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I have had the pleasure of working closely with many professionals throughout the federal government to advance FDI and export initiatives both in my own community of Ann Arbor, Michigan, as well as in my travels as chair of IEDC. By the end of my term, these travels will have taken me from coast-to-coast here in the United States, as well as to Western Europe, Brazil, Turkey, and Australia.

The message I have communicated is that economic developers are key actors in rebuilding our local and regional economies, and that FDI attraction is vital to building robust, resilient economies. And for good reason: with hundreds of billions of dollars of capital investment decisions being made annually that cross international boundaries, economic developers in the United States must look beyond their city limits, county lines, and state borders for new opportunities.

We are excited about the recent appointments of Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker and SelectUSA Executive Director Vinai Thummalapally. They will provide tremendous enlightened leadership to the team of professionals across the federal government active in economic development.

We look forward to working closely with them as we near both IEDC’s Annual Conference in Philadelphia and SelectUSA’s first-ever Investment Summit here in Washington.

Like our meetings this week, both events will highlight the importance and power of FDI to positively shape a brighter economic future for communities everywhere.

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