Posts Tagged ‘Germany’

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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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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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The Greatest Shows on Earth

May 1, 2009

Doug Barry is a trade specialist with the Trade Information Center. You can talk to him and his colleagues by calling 1-800-USA-TRADE.

Trade shows are one of the best ways to generate international sales, and some of the world’s largest are found in Germany. Why there? Two reasons: Germans have been organizing shows since the Middle Ages, and Germany is a relatively easy flight for business folks from elsewhere on the continent, the Middle East, Africa and the United States.

So, Germany plays host to all kinds of industry shows including pet products, books, musical instruments, medical equipment, IT and more. Americans go there to meet buyers from everywhere—without having to spend a small fortune flying everywhere.

Filling the Order Books

I recently attended CeBIT, the world’s largest IT show held each year in Hannover. I went to make a video on what U.S. companies need to know to make sales there, beyond having a good product. What I found at CeBIT were many small U.S. companies, which were filling their order books for the next year by engaging in best practices including trolling the show website for prospects before arrival; signage tricks to attract traffic; ploys for generating industry press; and book-length strategies for finding and scoring points at parties that start at 5pm everyday with German precision.

Horns of a Dilemma

Now, with world trade in the doldrums, you might reasonably ask, “Why bother?” One answer is that trade is showing signs of life—U.S. exports were up 1.6 percent in February and are likely to return to their record pace. Second, the chance to get in front of eager buyers from countries your frequent flyer miles won’t reach is too good to ignore. Third, the International Trade Administration, through the U.S. Commercial Service, can help you before, during and after the show—generating prospects, finding low cost space, tutoring on business culture and protocol.

Last point: see for yourself. Here are five videos covering the show; what the Commercial Service can do for you; best practices for making sales; protecting your intellectual property; and mixing business with pleasure.

Been to or want to go to an international trade show? Share your best practices and ask your questions in this space.

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