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Finding Unique International Investment Opportunities in Montgomery County, Maryland

June 1, 2017

Guest blog post by Spiros Balntas, CEcD, Director of Business Recruitment, MCEDC

This post is part of SelectUSA’s EDO Spotlight series, highlighting the work of EDOs around the country recruiting foreign direct investment, how that work supports jobs and economic growth across the United States, and how SelectUSA partners with EDOs to support economic development.

Next door to the nation’s capital is a bustling business center that is building a powerful innovative base for emerging industries. With one million residents, Montgomery County is the most populous county in Maryland, and home to more than 32,000 businesses, including 227 internationally owned companies. These global companies have a major presence in the county, adding to a vibrant economic workforce in a culturally diverse and growing area.

Knowing that international companies seek out key attributes in choosing a location, Montgomery County Economic Development Corporation (MCEDC) focuses on highlighting the areas where Montgomery County gets the highest marks, and offering new opportunities for global business to grow. Some of the county’s homegrown companies have become international from this home base.

Here are examples of companies with global reach that have chosen to come into the county or expand here:

  • Choice Hotels – International company based in Rockville, MD
  • Greencourt Innovation Center – Chinese-owned company creating a green, state-of-the-art innovation center in Rockville MD
  • GSK – British pharmaceutical company, opened its first dedicated vaccines R&D center in Rockville, MD
  • Honest Tea – International sales from its Bethesda, MD headquarters
  • Marriott International – In 122 countries from its Bethesda, MD headquarters

A Highly Educated Population

Montgomery County boasts the nation’s highest percentage of adults with post-graduate degrees – 31 percent – higher than anywhere else in the country. Local colleges and universities in the county contribute to an active pipeline of skilled employees. The Universities at Shady Grove offer degree programs from nine University of Maryland institutions, and is constructing a state-of-the-art, biomedical sciences building. Meanwhile, Montgomery College’s Bioscience Education Center is a 145,000-sq. ft. complex for STEM field education and workforce development.

A Hub for Connectivity

Companies with a presence in Montgomery County, recognize the incredible benefits of our unique proximity to federal agencies, foreign embassies, chanceries and diplomatic missions. Transportation also frequently rises to the top of the list for global companies deciding on a home base. Montgomery County-based companies have three international airports to choose from, each within 30 miles: Ronald Reagan Washington National, Washington Dulles International and Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport. Montgomery County is also part of the Greater Washington rapid transit system, providing easy access to the national capital area.

A Central Location for Growth Industries

Montgomery County’s industry clusters are growing in key areas including cybersecurity, biohealth and information technology. When global GSK opened its first U.S. dedicated vaccine R&D center in Rockville, the company cited Montgomery County’s location at the heart of a dynamic and cutting-edge bioscience hub in Washington, D.C. as a key factor in its decision. Many also take advantage of proximity to federal institutions including the National Institutes of Health, the Food and Drug Administration and the National Institute of Standards and Technology, among others—all headquartered in Montgomery County.

It’s not just the biohealth and cybersecurity clusters that are growing – so is the hospitality industry. Marriott Hotels, which has a long history in Montgomery County, is planning a state-of-the-art, $600 million complex in downtown Bethesda. Choice Hotels also chose to keep its Montgomery County roots in selecting Rockville for its expanding headquarters.

Opportunities for Building and Growth

Business infrastructure is in high demand, especially the need for more wet lab space for BioHealth companies. Montgomery County is planning for improvements in future land use, including zoning changes to meet long-term goals and objectives in the BioHealth Capital.

Montgomery County is poised to continue its rapid growth as a magnet for global business – and MCEDC is here to help international companies find success.

For more information, reach out to:

Spiros Balntas, CEcD
Director of Business Recruitment
Montgomery County Economic Development Corporation
spiros@thinkmoco.com
301.857.1942

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