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Building on Success: North Carolina Opens New FDI Office in India

May 22, 2019

Christopher Chung is the Chief Executive Officer of the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina.

When you stop by North Carolina’s Booth 525 at this year’s SelectUSA Investment Summit, you’ll see a new face that expresses our strong commitment to attracting more India-based companies to a state that has been focusing for the past five years on winning Indian investment.

The Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina (EDPNC) recently opened the state’s first foreign direct investment (FDI) office based in India ― dedicated to increasing FDI into North Carolina from one of the world’s fastest-growing economies.

NC Gov.

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper and Infosys President Ravi Kumar announce in July 2017 that the technology consulting company would be establishing a 2,000-job hub in the Research Triangle region of North Carolina.

Our newest FDI representative ― Rahul Padmanabha ― is based in Bangalore. You can meet him at our booth, as well as representatives traveling to the SelectUSA Investment Summit from all the state’s other overseas FDI offices located in Europe, China, South Korea and Japan.

North Carolina, which opened the Bangalore office late last year, is paying attention to India because its executives certainly have been paying attention to us. According to the Moody Analytics company Bureau van Dijk, from 2014 through 2018:

  • Indian companies announced more than $409 million in capital investment and 4,400 new jobs in North Carolina.
  • North Carolina ranked No. 1 among all states for the number of announced jobs connected to Indian FDI.
  • North Carolina was No. 2 in the Southeast U.S. and No. 3 nationwide for the total capital investment announced by Indian companies.

That’s substantial growth in Indian companies choosing our state. And there’s opportunity to attract more of the same because North Carolina is a national leader in industry sectors that closely align with Indian interests ― including IT, pharmaceuticals, textiles, food processing, automotive and aviation.

In the big area of IT consulting, for example, our central East Coast location and tech talent appeal to global companies that want to nearshore facilities closer to their existing U.S. customers. Another big draw? North Carolina’s business-friendly costs and tax climate – including the lowest corporate income tax rate in the United States at 2.5 percent.

Announcements by India-based companies in recent years have made big headlines in North Carolina, such as information technology giant Infosys choosing Raleigh in 2017 for a 2,000-job innovation and technology hub. Others include IT services company HCL Technologies’ 1,237-job expansion in CaryAurobindo Pharma’s 275-job research and development headquarters in Durham; and technology services firm Zensar’s new customer delivery center, which is expected to create up to 200 new jobs in Durham.

There’s also Glenmark Pharmaceuticals, which announced its first U.S. manufacturing facility in Monroe outside Charlotte in 2014. The $100 million facility currently employs nearly 170 people.

While urban areas have attracted most of North Carolina’s India-source investment, several projects have been announced in our rural communities. For example, AR Textiles, part of the India-based Sunflag group of companies, has a factory in Martin County.  Mumbai-based Mahindra Vehicle Sales and Service chose Henderson County for its North American office headquarters.

As SelectUSA’s former lead for India, Rahul brings to his new North Carolina FDI role a deep understanding of what Indian companies need to succeed in the United States. Visit Booth 525 to find out how North Carolina can meet those needs, or email me directly at cchung@edpnc.com. I’ll be at the SelectUSA Investment Summit as well, and looking forward to connecting.