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Business Potential Met Business Opportunity at the 2019 SelectUSA Investment Summit

June 20, 2019

Brian Lenihan is the Executive Director of SelectUSA

The 2019 SelectUSA Investment Summit is over, but its impact is just beginning. Last week, thousands of people from all over the world converged on the Washington Hilton in Washington, D.C. to turn business potential into business opportunity. So much happened that I think it’s best to start with the numbers:

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Exhibitors from the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina greet attendees from the Indian delegation, June 12, 2019

  • More than 3,100 total attendees joined us, including 1,200 global business representatives from a record 79 international markets and over 700 economic development professionals and service providers from 49 states and territories.
  • Four Cabinet secretaries addressed the Investment Summit: Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross, Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Ben Carson, Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin, and Secretary of Energy Rick Perry – all of whom highlighted how each of their departments is working to keep the United States competitive and open for business.
  • More than 3,200 meetings were scheduled and confirmed through the online matchmaking app, meetings that may form the foundation of several investment deals.
  • Three international companies announced U.S. expansions, representing more than 125 new jobs and several million dollars in greenfield foreign direct investment (FDI) in Idaho, Ohio, and Colorado.
  • The Governor of Mississippi announced a $59 million investment by a California-based aerospace company in the Magnolia State.

Beyond the informative sessions, exciting news was made. Ivanka Trump, joined onstage by Secretary Wilbur Ross and Siemens USA CEO Barbara Humpton, announced that more than 65 global companies had committed to creating over 930,000 apprenticeship and training opportunities for U.S. workers as part of the White House’s Pledge to American Workers. “This is not only the right thing to do … it’s good business,” Trump said. “There is a positive return on investment for this continual investment in what is the best workforce in the world.”

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Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross moderates a fireside chat on workforce development with Advisor to the President Ivanka Trump and Siemens USA CEO Barbara Humpton, June 12, 2019

The SelectUSA Tech Startup Investment Spotlight was an exciting first for us, an intensive program of pitching sessions and networking designed to connect early-stage startups with U.S. investment opportunities. Forty companies made their pitch to U.S. incubators and accelerators, all with the goal of breaking into the world’s largest market. Three companies were chosen, all winning hours of legal consultations and media training by law firm Green & Spiegel and a business accelerator program in Silicon Valley. The winning companies are: Spanish artificial intelligence platform company Moonshot, Hungarian container manufacturing company Continest, and Israeli food-tech company DouxMatok.

Another first at the Investment Summit was Industry Row, where associations not only had the opportunity to exhibit and network with attendees, but to also present a 30-minute “State of the Industry” presentation for investors and EDOs alike.

Four different companies made news for another reason: investment projects valued at almost $100 million were announced in four states. Italian manufacturer Modula will invest $26 million in Franklin, Ohio to establish operations and create 100 jobs. Taiwan-based dairy product manufacturer Jetton Biochemistry Co., Ltd. chose Nampa, Idaho as the location of its next plant, a $2 million project that will create 25 jobs. Australian freight company MyFreight announced that it would invest $500,000 to establish operations in Denver, Colorado, part of an effort to duplicate its $40-million success from Down Under to the United States. Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant announced that California-based aerospace company Relativity Space will invest $59 million and create nearly 200 jobs at NASA’s Stennis Space Center in Hancock, Mississippi.

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Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross and Advisor to the President Ivanka Trump join more than 65 global companies to sign the Pledge to America’s Workers, June 12, 2019

It was an honor (and a thrill) to experience this international excitement firsthand. SelectUSA is the embodiment of the U.S. government’s commitment to creating an open, welcoming, and competitive business environment. It’s a program whose core mission is to promote job-creating FDI. The SelectUSA Investment Summit continuously delivers on that mission.

As I look back on another successful Investment Summit, I look forward to the American jobs that will be created as a result. To the world’s business investors, I say: The United States is open for your business, and SelectUSA is here to make sure you have the information and resources needed to invest and succeed here. To America’s hard-working economic developers, I say: Thank you for consistently—and expertly—driving investment into the United States – SelectUSA is here to assist you.

Thank you.

Learn more about SelectUSA and its services by visiting www.selectusa.gov. Stay in the SelectUSA know by signing up for email updates and following @SelectUSA on Twitter.