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Swiss Companies Like Oerlikon Select the USA

June 13, 2017

Sandor Galambos is a SelectUSA Investment Specialist based in the U.S. Embassy in Switzerland.

With a total stock of $143.5 billion, Switzerland is one of the largest sources of foreign direct investment (FDI) in the United States. More than 460,000 American workers are directly employed by the U.S. affiliates of majority Swiss-owned firms.

Swiss manufacturer Oerlikon has a global footprint in 37 countries, supporting sales of more than $2.3 billion in 2016. Even with such a massive global operation, the company was looking for a location to start new operations to solidify its global market position in additive manufacturing.

Like many companies in the world, Oerlikon looked to the United States, and its decision to invest here is helping the company find new customers and creating jobs for U.S. workers.

Interestingly, the journey for Oerlikon began at a reception in Zurich, hosted by then-Ambassador Suzan LeVine. It was at that reception that company leaders heard the pitch about the United States—its manufacturing resurgence, productive workforce, and culture of innovation. Our SelectUSA team got involved immediately, working with Oerlikon officials to provide an understanding of the U.S. market and start planning a growth strategy for U.S. operations.

The company chose to participate in the 2016 SelectUSA Investment Summit (Summit), joining a delegation of Swiss companies led by Ambassador LeVine. We set up meetings for Oerlikon representatives in advance, so the entire two days of the conference were spent connecting directly with economic development organizations and potential partners that could help the company hit the ground running in the United States.

It was a meeting with the Charlotte Regional Partnership at the Summit that ultimately led to Oerlikon committing to a $62 million investment in Huntersville, N.C. This facility will employ engineers, research and development technicians, and skilled craftsman at an average salary well above the regional average.

The facility will be operational in 2018, and it will offer U.S. industrial customers a single source for a full suite of integrated advanced manufacturing services, including R&D, design, applications engineering, production, and processing. The Charlotte region is home to a rapidly growing number of global industrial, aerospace, and automotive firms, and the Oerlikon investment will contribute to the region’s manufacturing business culture.

When global companies look to the United States, it truly is a win-win. Not only does the company connect to a promising market, it also creates opportunities for U.S. workers.

Our SelectUSA team looks forward to bringing more Swiss companies to the United States in June for the 2017 SelectUSA Investment Summit, connecting firms to more growth opportunities in the promising U.S. market. For any global company or economic development team looking to make business connections, the Investment Summit is the place to be.

Not Attending the Summit?

If you are unable to attend this year, I invite you to follow the coverage on Twitter. Using #SelectUSASummit and #GrowWithUS17, you’ll be able to join the online conversation with attendees.

 

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