Archive for the ‘EDO Spotlight Series’ Category

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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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Companies from 15 Countries Expanded in Oakland County, Michigan in the Metro Detroit Region in 2016

April 13, 2017

More than 40 percent of total job-supporting investment came from foreign-owned firms.

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.

Located in the heart of the Metro Detroit region, Oakland County, Michigan, has long been a community open and inviting to foreign direct invest (FDI) from around the world. This investment supports nearly 6.4 million U.S. jobs, and over 200,000 jobs in Michigan, making it a great driver of growth in our state.susa

FDI has traditionally come from the automotive industry, with 75 of the top 100 global tier 1 automotive suppliers making Oakland County their North American home. Now with the mobility movement and the exciting autonomous vehicle technology being developed here in the region, Oakland County is seeing companies from new technology sectors looking to locate into our community.

Today, new FDI is coming from multiple sectors, including:

  • Automotive / Mobility;
  • Healthcare technology;
  • Information technology;
  • Defense; and
  • Advanced / Light-weighting materials sectors.

Our county is home to over 1,000 foreign-owned firms from 39 countries, which could easily compare to many U.S. states. Last year we saw companies from these 15 countries make our community their home or expand their operations here:

Australia                Germany                Japan                           Norway

Canada                   India                       Korea                           Spain

China                      Ireland                   Mexico                         Switzerland

France                    Italy                        Netherlands

Having had a strong FDI strategy for over 20 years, we have gotten to fully understand what companies need in order to be successful in the USA, and we give the companies a chance to “try us out” before making a commitment. Our International Business Center (IBC) at Automation Alley (the region’s technology consortium) and the OU Inc business incubator at Oakland University are both Certified International Soft Landing Centers. Businesses can locate here for three months free of charge while they test out the U.S. market and the Oakland County location. My team and I work with them on building their business in our region and making important connections for them in their industry, helping them understand what we already know: that there’s no place better to invest than the United States.

Michigan has a great business case for all companies, including a talented workforce, great business support, and a diverse economy. When you look at the technology that comes out of Oakland County, it’s no wonder the US Patent office opened its second location in our region. Technology and innovation are clearly seen in every industry here in Southeast Michigan.

The great success we have had in our FDI work has created numerous benefits for the community. Not only do foreign-owned firms create thousands of jobs in the region and help grow our economy, the new investments have also helped bring various cultural assets to our community. These include several dynamic ethnic business chambers, including:

  • Sweden American Chamber of Commerce;
  • Irish American Chamber of Commerce;
  • German American Chamber of Commerce;
  • French American Chamber of Commerce;
  • Italian American Association of Business & Technology (IAABT);
  • Japanese Business Society of Detroit; and
  • Detroit Chinese Business Association.

We have the largest Japanese School in the United States, one of the most prized Chinese art collections, top rated French and German schools, and we have one of the largest bocci ball stadiums in the world for our Italian residents. These cultural assets are imperative to the quality of life for all our residents.

SelectUSA has been a great partner of ours in our FDI success. From the online tools available to us, to the SelectUSA staff that specialize in different regions of the world, we rely on our partners regularly. We work with them closely to understand the markets we are interested in and to help us successfully recruit investment from those markets. The SelectUSA Investment Summit is a “must attend” event for us. In the last two years, we’ve gotten over 10 leads and 4four successes from our participation. We’ll be there again in 2017, and we hope to see you there!

For information on Oakland County, Michigan, contact us at Info@advantageoakland.com or through our website: www.AdvantageOakland.com

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Professional Football as the Jacksonville Region’s Gateway to Foreign Direct Investment

April 6, 2017

Jerry Mallot is the President of JAXUSA Partnership, Northeast Florida’s regional economic development organization (EDO) based in Jacksonville. Learn more about the organization at JAXUSA.org.  

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.

A unique coordination between a National Football League franchise and a regional economic development group is supporting hundreds of U.S. jobs in Northern Florida.

In 2013, Jacksonville Jaguars football team owner Shahid Khan committed the franchise to playing a home game in London every year. We at JAXUSA pounced (like a jaguar, naturally) on what we saw as a great opportunity to leverage the football team’s international outreach for local economic development purposes. In partnership with the Jaguars, JAXUSA launched annual economic development missions to the United Kingdom to help initiate and build long-term relationships with international companies and organizations.

Those missions are already paying off for Jacksonville; here are just a few examples:

  • Greencore, an Ireland-based food-preparation company, established operations in Jacksonville, creating hundreds of jobs in our region. These operations continue to grow.
  • City Refrigeration, based in Scotland, selected Jacksonville for its North American headquarters, creating 110 new Florida jobs. The company operates around the world with more than 12,000 employees and is the largest privately-held facilities management company in the United Kingdom and Australia.
  • Resource Solutions, an international recruiting services firm, opened a global service center in Jacksonville, adding 75 skilled jobs. The London-based company, which provides outsourcing solutions for many of the world’s leading brands, is seeking to grow its operations in the United States. And as the company’s U.S. market share grows, so will its operations in Jacksonville.

Foreign direct investment (FDI) from the U.K. and other global locations is a vital part of the Jacksonville region’s overall development and sustainability strategy. Companies from more than 26 countries call the city home, supporting thousands of jobs in the Jacksonville area. Our investment missions, the dedication of JAXUSA investment specialists, and partnerships with organizations like SelectUSA help Jacksonville continue to grow as a global destination for business.

As for the coordination with the Jacksonville Jaguars? Our NFL-inspired U.K. FDI missions help us tell our story to a larger global audience. These missions help us connect with top company leaders and work toward bringing jobs and economic growth to the Jacksonville region. They also add a higher profile to our presence overseas and open doors to new investment opportunities.

Jacksonville is a competitive player in the global marketplace and as we continue to attract more international companies to our region, we strengthen our attractiveness to companies around the world. But the ultimate (field) goal is always creating jobs through investment that makes a real impact on our communities.

 

 

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Wisconsin Economic Innovation Flows Through International Collaboration

March 31, 2017

Katy Sinnott is Vice President of International Business Development for the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC), the state’s lead economic development agency. Foreign direct investment (FDI) is a significant driver of Wisconsin’s economy, directly supporting 90,000 jobs across multiple industries. WEDC is dedicated to increasing FDI in Wisconsin by nourishing international connections and identifying new opportunities collaboration.

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.

Mindful of the boost that FDI provides to Wisconsin’s overall economic growth—more than 1,500 foreign-owned establishments have created nearly 15,000 new full-time jobs since 2003—WEDC is working to grow those numbers even further.

One major thrust of our strategy is strengthening ties for Wisconsin’s key industries to their counterparts overseas. When we work at connecting a whole industry, there is a multiplier effect compared to working company by company to build connections. This approach helps support economic growth and also promotes innovation in Wisconsin, as our companies get a chance to cross-pollinate ideas with their industry colleagues from other countries, sharing and comparing their different approaches to solving common problems.

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At WEFTEC 2016, The Water Council and the German Water Partnership signed a memorandum of understanding paving the way for future Wisconsin-Germany collaboration.

Bringing Wisconsin to the World, and the World to Wisconsin

To see how these international industry connections can bear fruit, we need look no further than Wisconsin’s water technology sector, which has been actively cultivating these connections for several years under the leadership of The Water Council, a key strategic partner of WEDC.

Connections made on a global trade venture to Germany in 2015 led to the signing of a memorandum of understanding between The Water Council and the German Water Partnership a year later. The Water Council also has agreements with two water-related consortia in France and the Netherlands.

At the same time, the Water Council’s Business. Research. Entrepreneurship. In Wisconsin accelerator (BREW) for water technology companies in Milwaukee has also played a key role in attracting companies from all over the world. At the end of their year-long accelerator experience, many choose to stay at Milwaukee’s Global Water Center (where The BREW resides) permanently.

To strengthen another nascent connection, representatives of The Water Council visited Israel in November 2016 to explore opportunities for collaboration among Israeli water technology startups, Israeli universities and Wisconsin’s water technology cluster. The Water Council offered to provide a “soft landing” for Israeli companies wishing to enter the U.S. market, helping them make connections, get the lay of the land and even find office space in the Global Water Center if desired.

It’s not only the water technology sector that is focused on making international connections. Both the Mid-west Energy Research Consortium (M-WERC) and The Water Council are exploring opportunities in India in hopes that Wisconsin companies can play a part in India’s Smart Cities initiative, a $1.2 trillion plan to develop and redevelop 100 cities, with technology integrated into areas including energy, transportation, public safety and infrastructure. In the years to come, we expect many opportunities to arise in markets such as China and India, where population growth combined with economic growth means they are improving older infrastructure and adding new at a rapid pace to improve living conditions for their population, and we will be working to help Wisconsin companies connect to these opportunities. Already, FaB Wisconsin is making connections in India to see how Wisconsin food and beverage companies can help with the “cold chain” for distribution of products that must stay refrigerated, for example.

SelectUSA: A Valued Partner

SelectUSA has been a key partner in these efforts. Following the 2016 SelectUSA Investment Summit, WEDC partnered with SelectUSA to host a business roundtable and networking reception for companies in Mexico City—which included promising meetings with Mexican industry associations—with particular focus on food processing and manufacturing. In addition, WEDC and SelectUSA partnered to host a similar roundtable in India, with a focus on the manufacturing and pharmaceutical industries.

We are grateful to have benefited from SelectUSA’s connections in these markets, since it can be challenging to identify foreign companies with real projects they seek to deploy in the U.S.

WEDC is dedicated to continuing to nurture these connections between Wisconsin’s industry clusters and their counterparts abroad. We are grateful for the support SelectUSA has provided in these efforts, which are crucial to increasing FDI in Wisconsin and helping those industry clusters reach their full potential.

To stay connected to economic development news in Wisconsin, please visit InWisconsin.com and follow us on Twitter.

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Colorado: Attracting FDI by the Numbers

January 12, 2017

By Dan Lane, Global Business Manager, Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade

At the Colorado Office of Economic Development & International Trade (OEDIT), attracting foreign direct investment (FDI) is an important part of our overall mission to create a healthy economy for our state. Foreign companies doing business in Colorado create jobs for our residents, build our state’s international connectivity, and help to fill gaps in our economy.

Looking back, 2016 was another strong year for the State of Colorado in welcoming foreign investment and defining a strategy that truly works.

At OEDIT, we have learned to take a targeted approach to attracting FDI. The world is a big and potentially overwhelming place, and without a targeted strategy driven by data and analytics, we would spend far too much time chasing leads and scrambling for any and all types of investment. A data-driven approach, however, helps us create a win-win situation by providing foreign companies with a prime market opportunity in the United States and simultaneously shoring up some of the gaps in Colorado’s economy.

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Colorado State Capitol in Denver

OEDIT’s in-house data and analytics team plays a vital role in crafting Colorado’s FDI attraction strategy, examining a wide range of economic indicators from Colorado and around the world to help refine our approach. This team continuously analyzes Colorado’s economy to see where we have gaps in our local industries and supply chains. Earlier this year, our analysts also pored over world economic indicators to identify countries that met two key criteria – strength in industries where we had identified gaps, and robust growth projections over the next year.  By overlaying these data sets, OEDIT was able to craft a strategy targeting companies from fast-growing economies that could fill unique niches in Colorado.

Of course, our strategy plays to Colorado’s strengths as well. Colorado’s attractiveness as an FDI destination was highlighted by several speakers at the 2016 SelectUSA Investment Summit, including Secretary of State John Kerry.  In his remarks, Secretary Kerry highlighted the grand opening of a new $1.3 million global R&D center in Boulder by Envision Energy, a Chinese producer of wind turbines and smart wind farm software.  The Envision Global Blade Innovation Center is expected to create up to 42 jobs for highly-skilled Coloradans – and according to Envision, far and away the most important driver for selecting Colorado was its talented local workforce.

Colorado is becoming the “wind energy capital of America” largely due to its innovative, talented and highly educated population. In fact, Colorado is the second most highly educated state in the nation.  This fact may come as a surprise to people who associate the U.S. coasts with higher education; but for Envision, Colorado’s excellent universities revealed a hidden gem of highly educated local talent. Boulder’s close proximity to the National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL) – the ideal testing ground for Envision’s blade designs – was also a key factor in the company’s choice of this location. In fact, Colorado has the highest density of national labs anywhere in the United States. This is yet another reason why Colorado has a correspondingly high density of engineering talent and attracts companies like Envision.

We at OEDIT are proud of the great strides we have made in attracting foreign direct investment to our state. At the same time, we recognize that there is still work to be done.  While Colorado’s reputation as a business hub is well known domestically, we still need to work hard to boost our recognition on the international level. This is an area where SelectUSA has been particularly helpful to Colorado. First and foremost, the Investment Summit provides an excellent platform for Colorado to compete side by side with coastal states that are better known among foreign business people. SelectUSA also helped Colorado organize and host a group of Chinese CEOs who saw firsthand what a great place Colorado is to do business.  Finally, SelectUSA is renowned for its data-driven approach to FDI, and offers a wide range of resources, including online data tools ranging from an interactive FDI dashboard, to an industry cluster mapping tool, and much, much more!

At OEDIT, we plan to continue taking advantage of the opportunity to partner with SelectUSA and take advantage of the platform that they provide, and we are excited to see what 2017 brings.

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Pennsylvania Offers Experience, Knowledge & Diversity to International Companies

December 29, 2016

Kate Skopp, Director of Global Partnerships & Operations, Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development, Office of International Business Development. 

Companies of all sizes and industries from around the world have been able to find a place in Pennsylvania’s business community and reap the benefits of investing in our diverse market. In fact, our state is home to 6,100 foreign-owned companies – businesses that employ more than 330,000 Pennsylvanians across the state.

Pennsylvania has focused on attracting foreign direct investment (FDI) for over two decades, providing quality assistance to foreign companies looking to establish business operations in our state. With nine representatives around the world covering more than 30 countries, we are committed to identifying and working with companies to break down investment barriers.

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Certuss participates with Pennsylvania’s Office of International Business Development in the SelectUSA Pavilion, organized by SelectUSA, at Hannover Messe in Hanover, Germany in April 2016. From left: Kate Skopp, PA Office of International Business Development; Holger Deimann, CERTUSS; David Moock, Pennsylvania Authorized Representative office in Germany; Lindsay Helsel, Team Pennsylvania Foundation; Stefan Peikert, Pennsylvania Authorized Representative in Germany.

Over this period of time, we have also learned to listen to what is most important to potential investors.  Pennsylvania’s prime location on the U.S. east coast provides easy access to 60 percent of the U.S. and Canadian populations and is supported by six international airports, 65 operating railroads, three major ports and eight foreign trade zones.  This led companies from around the world to locate or expand in Pennsylvania recently.  Here are a few examples:

  • Continuing its long tradition of business in Pennsylvania, Taiwanese company Foxconn has expanded its R&D presence to approx. 50 employees in Harrisburg.
  • Chinese manufacturer, Taizhou Fuling Plastics, established its first U.S. manufacturing site in Upper Macungie Township, creating 75 new jobs. Fuling is recognized as the leading exporter of plastic tableware and kitchenware in the world.
  • Austrian manufacturer Greiner Packaging established its U.S. headquarters in Pittston, creating 128 new jobs. Greiner produces premium packaging and sustainable items for the food industry.
  • Almac Group, Inc., a global contract pharmaceutical development and manufacturing organization from Northern Ireland, is currently expanding its operations at its existing U.S. headquarters in Montgomery County, doubling its physical presence at its location in Lansdale. The company’s expansion will create 312 new jobs over the next three years.

Today, Pennsylvania’s Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) houses the Office of International Business Development (OIBD), which is responsible for offering customized services to help international companies looking to locate or expand in our state find the resources they need. OIBD works in collaboration with a team of global investment representatives around the world, regional and local government organizations, industry associations, and many more partners to engage international companies in Pennsylvania’s business community.

One such partner is SelectUSA.  OIBD has partnered with SelectUSA at a number of international events to extend its outreach in targeted markets, capitalizing on these collaborative events to engage international companies in doing business in the Keystone State. This past year, OIBD participated with SelectUSA at three events – Hannover Messe, the SelectUSA Investment Summit in Washington D.C., and SelectUSA Canada in Montreal, Canada. At each of these events, OIBD was able to meet with over 50 interested companies. OIBD and its network of international representatives will continue to participate in upcoming SelectUSA events in Washington D.C., Italy, and India over the next few months.

And these events often lead to tangible successes.

For example, Certuss, a German steam generator manufacturer, first met with OIBD at Hannover Messe 2014 at the SelectUSA pavilion. After several discussions and meetings, the company ultimately made the decision to locate to Pennsylvania to establish its commercial activities for North America.  Today, Certuss is using the resources available from OIBD and other local partners to capture the potential for growing in the U.S. market.

From business diversity to competitive business advantages, we are proud that Pennsylvania provides abundant opportunities for companies from around the world and in all industries to succeed in the United States.  We look forward to what 2017 has in store.

For more information on FDI in Pennsylvania, contact OIBD’s Executive Director for International Investment, Mr. David Briel at: dbriel@pa.gov or 717-720-7373.

 

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SEDC: Taking a Regional Approach to Promoting FDI

December 27, 2016

This post contains external links. Please review our external linking policy.

Guest blog post by Gene Stinson, President, Southern Economic Development Council

As the membership association for more than 1,000 economic development professionals across 17 southern states, the Southern Economic Development Council (SEDC) enthusiastically aids its members seeking foreign direct investment (FDI) in their communities. SEDC members include statewide, city, town and county economic development organizations (EDOs) and agencies, representing the vast diversity in geography, transportation infrastructure, workforce assets, municipal incentives and public-private partnerships available in the southern United States.

Building awareness of FDI is central to SEDC’s mission to provide members with the information and resources that help them increase economic development in their communities. However, while many members have succeeded in attracting FDI, others have not had access to the tools and information needed to draw investment. This year, we worked hard on changing that – here’s how.

In April, SEDC launched AmericanSouth.net, an initiative to highlight the many benefits of the region to international investors. The program has a twofold objective: to demonstrate “best FDI attraction practices” to all SEDC members; and to offer direct opportunities for members to develop leads that can bring FDI to their areas.

Today, in concert with our regular newsletter, SEDC News, we provide articles, directions to resources, and other information through AmericanSouth.net. We also plan to take advantage of our location in Atlanta – where several international chambers of commerce and foreign consulates have offices – by hosting an International Site Location Advisors Summit to help members build relationships with these organizations and increase contacts with FDI site location influencers.

Moving forward, we will continue building out the capability of AmericanSouth.net not only to position the region as a top destination for FDI but also to provide an additional way for international companies get in touch with our member EDOs. To help advance the initiative, SEDC is forming an advisory board of international investment specialists from EDOs, SelectUSA, the Organization for International Investment (OFII), site location consulting firms, and more. The board will guide SEDC’s FDI programing and develop educational content for its members.

Throughout our development, SelectUSA has been a valuable partner, particularly in helping us prepare for our first venture to Hannover Messe 2016, the world’s largest industrial technology trade show. Conference calls, connections to international investors, and follow-up personal calls – organized by SelectUSA – maximized our exposure in the Investment Pavilion. AmericanSouth.net made its debut at the pavilion and drew several hundred international business and industry representatives to our booth.   Next year, SEDC will again participate in the SelectUSA Investment Summit in June and join the U.S. delegation to Hannover Messe in April. We are also exploring new opportunities, including the possibility of organizing an AmericanSouth road show with SelectUSA.

SEDC’s development of AmericanSouth.net and our exciting ambitions for 2017 mark a new high point in our association’s efforts on behalf of its members. FDI is an under-explored frontier for many communities and a resource many others can expand upon. We are excited about continuing to position the American South as the global destination of choice for business.

 To learn more about SEDC, please visit www.sedc.org and follow @SEDCouncil on Twitter.  

 

 

 

 

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Putting the “Global” in Global Delaware

December 15, 2016

Emma Pautler is Marketing Director of Global Delaware 

For Global Delaware, 2016 has been an exciting and busy year. We have long known of the critical role foreign direct investment (FDI) plays in our state economy; indeed, FDI in Delaware directly supports more than 28,000 jobs. But sometimes it is just as important to pause and reflect on how it all comes about. 

The First State is known for its business friendly corporate law – and part of our work at Global Delaware is focused on showcasing this – not to mention the economic infrastructure that provides for quick and easy access to markets, our approachable local government. . . (OK, we will spare you the full pitch).

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Delegates from the Embassy of Spain meet with representatives of Global Delaware and SelectUSA Deputy Investment Services Director David Campbell at SevOne Inc.’s Newark, Delaware campus.

Since January, we’ve hosted delegations from China, France, Germany, Portugal, Spain, and Turkey. In April, we joined the largest-ever U.S. delegation in the USA Pavilion at Hannover Messe 2016; President Barack Obama even stopped by our booth and posed for a picture with a cardboard cutout of a well-known Delawarean – Vice President Joe Biden. In June, the largest startup campus in Europe, Factory Berlin, opened its first U.S. location in Wilmington.  We also attended the 2016 SelectUSA Investment Summit, which led to several new leads – and we’ve been busy hosting, following up and assisting the many business owners we met there. There’s no way we are missing the 2017 Investment Summit next June!

Many people from different sectors and organizations pulled together in order to make this all happen.  Indeed, some of these successes would not have been possible without help from our friends at SelectUSA and the Department of Commerce. Deputy Investment Services Director David Campbell traveled to Delaware to help us welcome delegates from the Spanish Embassy. Investment Specialist Nathan Regan helped us with market research to lock in a French IT company, slated to open their operations in January 2017. The U.S. Consul General in Munich Jennifer Gavito, together with our friend Jana Dorband, kindly supported our many trips to Berlin to finalize details for Factory Berlin’s launch.

A growing challenge (though not necessarily a bad one) for our team has been how not to become victims of our own success.  Delaware IS welcoming and business friendly – but we are also so much more than corporations.  This is why, beyond meeting with delegations and international business owners, we’ve spent a great deal of time developing innovative strategies that create value for international investors looking to bring their business to Delaware.

The most exciting endeavor in this field was the launch of the Delaware Blockchain Initiative. Governor Jack Markell announced the project in May, generating interest around the world. This technology efficiently records financial transactions between parties on a network without the costs and delays associated with intermediaries. We are already working hard with entrepreneurs around the world to develop practical applications.

In short, over the past year, we have forged international partnerships and implemented new strategies that show the world that the First State is open for investment like never before. Given the incredible successes we saw this year, we are excited to see what 2017 holds. Stay tuned by visiting our website and following us on Twitter.

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El Paso plastic molding company grows international sales by $8 million, exports 85 percent of product

December 8, 2016

After years of working with the U.S. Commercial Service, a plastics molding company here has expanded its profit margin by more than $8 million and created more than 100 jobs through cross-border sales into Mexico.

Plastic Molding Technology, Inc., a manufacturer of injection-molded plastic components that produces more than 150 million parts per year, has worked with the U.S. Commercial Service in El Paso and New Mexico since 2011. During that time, Robert Queen, Director of U.S. Commercial Service-El Paso, worked with PMT to lock in several new customers across the border in Ciudad Juarez.

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Congressman Beto O’Rourke (center, left) and PMT owner and CEO Charles A. Sholtis joins PMT employees honor of the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Export Achievement Award.

This is something PMT CEO Charles A. Sholtis said directly attributed to their company’s success today.

“PMT regards Robert Queen and the El Paso Commercial Service as excellent partners for our company, as well as strong advocates for American manufacturing,” said Sholtis. “The organization is professional and supportive of our needs as a plastic components manufacturer on the US-Mexico border. From helping us link with new opportunities, to connecting us in B2B meetings, to recognizing our achievements as an exporter, we value our partnership and appreciate the support.”

Together with its El Paso operations, the U.S. Commercial Service is a federal agency under the U.S. Department of Commerce dedicated to helping small and medium-sized businesses successfully enter global markets.

Through the assistance provided by CS El Paso, Robert Queen said PMT has had its visibility enhanced within the borderplex community. Additionally, the U.S. Commercial Service’s relationships and resources provided for important connections through business-to-business matchmaking and trades shows as well as up-to-date market intelligence, trade analysis data and industry reports that lead to a number of trade leads.

“The work we have done with PMT has been much more than just finding them opportunities overseas for export,” Queen said. “We’ve also helped to strengthen their position locally through networking, consulting, and talking about projects taking place both in El Paso and Cuidad Juarez.”

The increased demand for PMT’s products has also had an effect on their workforce. With the increased need for plastic molding injection with businesses on both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border, PMT has increased their workforce to 100 employees. These employees are broken down into four shifts that keep the plant running 24 hours, seven days a week.

“For companies like PMT, it’s more than just exporting; companies along the U.S.-Mexico border are taking part in product sharing, which requires more back-and-forth coordination and consulting,” Queen said. “This can take multiple years to complete. Because we are very much engaged in the local manufacturing environment due to its exports across the border, it’s easy for the U.S. Commercial Service to stay on the cusp of the manufacturing supply chain locally.”

According to their website, for five decades, PMT has serviced a wide array of industries Including automotive, appliance, electrical, medical, agricultural, marine, and consumer products. Strategically located in El Paso, Queen said PMT is well-positioned to serve the maquiladora plants in Mexico, and continue to seek out other opportunities in the United States’ southern neighbor.

Interested in connecting with the U.S. Commercial Service? Visit us on the web to find an office near you.