Archive for the ‘Inward Investment’ Category


Investing in America: An Expanded SelectUSA Guide for Global Companies

May 25, 2021

Bill Burwell is the Acting Executive Director of the Department’s SelectUSA Program

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When most people think about trade, they probably conjure images of containers shipped across oceans or trucked along highways. It’s true that America is a major exporter of goods and our ports are abuzz with activity around the clock. We’re also a major source of foreign direct investment—and while this trade term may not spark a visual, chances are high that you live in or near a community that benefits from it.

Simply put, foreign direct investment (FDI) is inbound investment into the United States from global companies. For the world, the United States is a great place to do business. We have the laws, the expertise, the work ethic and a world class workforce which businesses need to succeed. In fact, the U.S. has ranked #1 for nine years in a row as the top destination for foreign business investment. At the Department of Commerce, we have a program that specializes in attracting FDI—SelectUSA—and since its inception, it has facilitated more than $84 billion in inbound investment, creating and/or retaining over 106,000 U.S. jobs.

Some foreign investors may be experienced at entering multiple markets and extensively resourced to do so. Others may be exploring opening their first international location and in the early stages of information discovery. Either way, SelectUSA has a suite of services to help all types of investors, and offers counseling, introductions to U.S. economic development organizations, assistance navigating the U.S. federal regulatory system, and finally, products and events to help those investors better understand the U.S market.

One such example of the resources that SelectUSA has developed to assist potential investors is the SelectUSA Investor Guide, which was first launched in 2020.  Authored by competitively selected subject matter experts in their respective fields, the chapters in this guide are designed to give investors an overview of key topics essential to successful investing in the United States. The first edition of the guide covered topics such as an Overall Investment Checklist, Immigration, Business Structure, Taxes, Workforce and FDI Restrictions.

This year we proudly release 5 new additional chapters on the following topic areas:

Each of these chapters will inspire panel conversations at the upcoming 2021 SelectUSA Investment Summit, to be held virtually June 7-11, 2021, and which will be hosted by U.S. Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo. The Investment Summit is designed for investors of all sizes – including established multinationals, small or medium-sized enterprises, and high-growth start-ups. The event will showcase investment opportunities from every (virtual) corner of the United States, as high-profile business and government leaders share insights on the latest business trends. Participants will find the practical tools, information, and connections they need to move investments forward.

We are thrilled to be a part of May’s World Trade Month celebrations, and even more excited to welcome FDI that helps to create export-supported jobs into the United States. If you are interested in learning more, information about the Investment Summit, including registration details, visit It isn’t too late to sign up, and we hope to see you there!


The United States Remains the Top Destination for Business Investment for the Ninth Consecutive Year

March 24, 2021

Diane Farrell is the Acting Under Secretary for International Trade

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Today, A.T. Kearney released its 2021 Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) Confidence Index, ranking the United States as the top destination for foreign investors for the ninth year in a row. The United States continuing to be ranked first in the world is no small feat, and has been supported by the U.S. Department of Commerce’s SelectUSA program.

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Since its inception, SelectUSA has facilitated more than $84 billion in client-verified investment, supporting more than 106,000 U.S. jobs. Even during the global pandemic, companies across the world continue to target the United States as the launch pad for global growth, with the SelectUSA team supporting them through client services such as assistance navigating the federal regulatory environment, market research, and counseling.

Following a year of adjusting to our new reality in the wake of the global COVID-19 pandemic, this news comes as no surprise, showcasing the United States’ ability to adapt and overcome unprecedented challenges. At SelectUSA, we are celebrating the retention of our #1 spot in the 2021 Confidence Index, as FDI creates jobs and contributes to economic development across the United States. The ranking in the Index is a direct reflection of the appeal of the U.S. economy and how that economy enables businesses of any size to access a massive consumer base, explore working within a culture that welcomes innovation, and employ a world-class, productive workforce.

When looking to invest, investors look for established markets that are safe and stable, possess strong infrastructure, strong governance, macroeconomic stability, and are known for their progress in technology and innovation. These are all attributes the U.S. market is proud to maintain. The United States offers unmatched diversity, a culture of innovation, and the world’s most productive workforce to companies of all sizes, from startups to multinationals, looking to grow and succeed in the U.S. market.

For foreign companies considering investing in the United States and for economic development teams looking to attract job-creating business investment, there is no better place to connect than the virtual 2021 SelectUSA Investment Summit from June 7-11, 2021. This is the United States’ highest profile event dedicated to promoting FDI, and plays a key role in attracting and facilitating business investment and job creation by raising awareness about the wide range of investment opportunities in the United States and enabling vital direct connections between investors and U.S. economic development organizations.

The 2019 SelectUSA Investment Summit was one of its largest, drawing more than 3,100 attendees to Washington, D.C. Several new announcements were made, including nearly $100 million in new investment projects and the release of SelectUSA’s case-study report on reshoring in the United States. In total, 1,200 business investors from a record 79 international markets joined economic developers from 49 states and territories. The Investment Summit has directly affected more than $48.4 billion in new investment projects supporting more than 45,000 U.S. jobs.

I hope you will join us this year to network, learn more about how to expand through investment, and see firsthand why the United States continues to remain top destination for business investment for the ninth year in a row.


SelectUSA Investment Summit 2021: Select Global Women in Tech Mentorship Network Call for Applications Now Open!

March 8, 2021

by Jacqueline Vitello, Deputy Director of Programs and Events, SelectUSA, International Trade Administration

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2021 SelectU

Calling all mentors and mentees! This June, as part of the 2021 SelectUSA Investment Summit, we are thrilled to launch the Select Global Women in Tech (SGWIT) mentorship network. Applications for mentors and mentees are open now until the start of the Summit. This new mentorship network will introduce international female tech entrepreneurs to the U.S. market with the support of SelectUSA’s traditional data and counseling services as well new training opportunities. The SelectUSA team is proud to bring together resources from across the United States to support international female entrepreneurs in their U.S. investment journey.

SGWIT is a virtual platform designed to support mentorship and learning. Mentees will be matched with mentors based on their goals, respective industries and expertise. Mentors will be selected from across the U.S. startup ecosystem based on their interest in supporting female-run businesses. Participants are asked to commit to at least three one-on-one virtual meetings over the course of the six-month program, at least one progress update check-in, and then a final meeting to follow up and decide on next steps. Both mentors and mentees will benefit from the one-on-one relationship as they build new skills, make new contacts, ignite new ideas, achieve their goals, and reinvigorate their own work.

If you or someone you know is interested in serving as a mentor or the opportunity to be a mentee, check out the information below.

Mentees: Female founders interested in taking advantage of this unique opportunity should apply to attend the 2021 SelectUSA Investment Summit and indicate interest in the mentorship network during the application process.

Mentee qualifications:

Participants interested in applying for the SGWIT Mentorship and Training Network must fit the following criteria:

  • Company headquarters must be based outside of the United States and the company must be
    • Less than 8 years old
    • Up to $10 million in revenue
    • Up to 40 employees
  • Mentee applicants must identify as female
  • Company must be developing a new technology product or service, or delivering an existing technology to a market in new ways

Note: Mentees must be approved as 2021 SelectUSA Investment Summit participants.

Mentors:  SGWIT mentors are U.S.-based successful entrepreneurs, corporate executives, venture capitalists, angel investors, and attorneys interested in supporting international female founders in their efforts to achieve their U.S. expansion goals. Mentors will be asked to be a sounding board and offer suggestions to help mentees overcome the challenges they face in scaling, promoting, fundraising and generally establishing their business in the United States. Note that U.S. government employees and economic development organization officials may not serve as mentors but may support the network via educational content contributions.

If you are interested in participating as a mentor, please fill out this form.

Note: All mentors must be vetted by SelectUSA before being confirmed.

The SelectUSA team looks forward to welcoming both mentors and mentees to this new network and to supporting the growth of female-run businesses around the world.

SelectUSA is the U.S. government program housed within the U.S. Department of Commerce that focuses on facilitating job-creating business investment into the United States and raising awareness of the critical role that economic development plays in the U.S. economy. Since its inception, SelectUSA has facilitated more than $81 billion in investment, creating and/or retaining over 100,000 U.S. jobs. While SelectUSA offers assistance to companies of all sizes and sectors, we recognize that certain types of companies, including small women-run businesses abroad, require different and more specific types of support. Female entrepreneurs, especially those in the developing world, often lack access to markets, market information, networks, mentorship, and other resources that enable them to overcome the obstacles of starting and growing firms as well as connecting with financing opportunities. Alongside access to capital, networks have emerged as the most important driver for women’s entrepreneurial success. Multiple studies reveal that female founders that participate in a business network are far more likely to forecast growth for their companies.[1]

[1] EY G20 Entrepreneurship Barometer 2013 Survey, EY, 2013; “Lack of Business Networks Holding British Female Entrepreneurs Back,” The Telegraph, July 2, 2018.


Good Things Come in Small Packages: The Impact of Foreign-Owned SMEs on the U.S. Economy

January 6, 2021

Samantha Luban is an Economic Research Analyst at SelectUSA

From the corner coffee shop to the boutique where you bought holiday presents, small businesses are an essential part of both local communities and the national economy. Small businesses comprise 99 percent of all companies in the United States, which may not be new information to most readers. However, less known is the prevalence and impact of foreign-owned small businesses.  

SelectUSA’s latest analysis shows that small, foreign-owned firms have a substantial impact on the U.S. economy, directly and indirectly supporting 5 million U.S. jobs, $350 billion in employee compensation, and $1 trillion in output

The impact of small foreign-owned businesses extends far beyond each firm’s individual economic activity. SelectUSA set out to quantify this impact in our latest research report, Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) from Small Businesses: Understanding the Behavior and Impact of Foreign-Owned SMEs on the U.S. Economy. In 2016, such businesses supported five million U.S. jobs, either directly or indirectly, or four percent of all U.S. jobs.   

In our analysis, we found that over 2.7 million of those jobs were directly created by small foreign-owned firms operating here, while the other 2.3 million were indirect and induced jobs supported by the ripple effects of small foreign-owned firms. Together, these jobs generated roughly $350 billion in employee compensation and over $1 trillion in output.

The three sectors where FDI from small businesses had the largest economic impact are manufacturing; wholesale trade; and professional, scientific, and business services. Combined, these top three sectors comprised 60 percent of all U.S. employment supported by small business FDI as of 2016.  

The report also found that small multinational enterprises are among the most productive group of firms in the world, surpassing the productivity of large multinational enterprises and high-growth firms. Unfortunately, these productivity advantages do not necessarily translate into higher resiliency, as the survival rate of small foreign-owned firms investing in the United States between 1990 and 2016 was 37 percent. 

The substantial economic impacts and productivity spillovers uncovered in our latest report are why we cannot take the existence of small foreign-owned firms in our economy for granted. However, in order to transform into resilient and thriving businesses, these companies often require some assistance, which SelectUSA and economic development organizations (EDOs) are uniquely suited to provide. SelectUSA will continue to support small businesses investing in the United States and assist EDOs seeking to attract more FDI from small foreign-owned companies. And the next time we’re on our way to our beloved coffee shops, restaurants, gyms, salons, or boutiques, let’s take a moment to appreciate the levels of investment that help support our favorite places.  

For more information see other reports from SelectUSA 


New Mexico Pushes Reshoring Effort in Response to COVID-19

December 28, 2020

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Melinda Allen is an Interim President for New Mexico Partnership.

New Mexico has one of the best track records in the United States when it comes to cultivating innovation. New Mexico has seen everything from the invention of nanotechnology at Los Alamos National Labs in 1972, to the first nicotine patch being developed at NM Tech in the early 1980s, to Virgin Galactic’s work to produce commercial spaceflights. This history of innovation and a world-class manufacturing environment has positioned the state to benefit from a newly emerging trend.

The economic ripple effects of COVID-19 are creating a global shift for supply chain and manufacturing companies, opening new pathways to re-shore and near-shore Asia-based manufacturing, a strategy that could provide cost efficiencies and quicker inventory turnaround for businesses.

The New Mexico Partnership, the organization tasked by the state with business recruitment, is actively pursuing Asia-based operations that have the potential of scaling up its production and supply chain operations within the United States.  This effort is primarily focusing on China, Korea, Japan and Taiwan. This approach has received a warm reception from companies that are looking for ways to overcome operational challenges highlighted by COVID-19.

Promoting the state’s successes in the technology and advanced manufacturing industries, the New Mexico Partnership is quick to showcase the $6.5 billion in research and development which is largely fueled by the state’s two national laboratories (Sandia and Los Alamos), the Air Force Research Laboratory, and three research universities. Another highlight is the state’s success in manufacturing and leading the nation in global export growth in 2019. Manufacturers like Intel, Admiral Cable, and Raytheon, all of which have established facilities within the state, are all key players in the growth of these industries.

New Mexico’s workforce incentives have also received a lot of interest helping to put the state at the front of the pack. The three most popular programs include:

  • Job Training and Incentive Program (JTIP) – The Flagship New Mexico Job Training Incentive Program (JTIP) funds on-the-job and classroom training for newly-created jobs in expanding or relocating businesses by reimbursing employers for 50-75% of employee wages for up to 6 months.
  • Local Economic Development Act (LEDA) – LEDA is a discretionary, cash-grant incentive program that can be used towards reimbursing the costs associated with land, building and infrastructure improvements. Funding awards are determined on a project-by-project basis.
  • High Wage Job Tax Credit (HWJTC) – Employers are eligible to receive a tax credit for each new high-wage economic-base job (paying over $40,000 in a rural area or $60,000 in a metro). The credit equals 8.5% of the wages and benefits paid for each such job created. Credits in excess of tax liability can be refunded to the employer as cash.

Our cost of doing business, these incentives, and more, can help companies relocating to New Mexico save 15-30 percent on operating costs, relative to other regions in the United States in which many companies are concentrated.

More information about all that New Mexico has to offer and the New Mexico Partnership can be found at


Robots and the Economy: The Role of Automation in Productivity Growth

December 22, 2020

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Kara Mazachek is an Economic Research Analyst at SelectUSA

Bar graph showing industrial robot installations growing steadily from 2009 to 2018
Source: International Federation of Robots, World Robotics 2019, Accessed February 12, 2020,

Innovation in manufacturing is key to global industry competitiveness. In honor of this year’s Manufacturing Day, SelectUSA highlighted the positive impact of industrial robots on productivity growth by releasing a report: Robots and the Economy: The Role of Automation in Driving Productivity Growth.

Robots and manufacturing

Automation is a form of technology that mechanizes a repetitive process, thereby reducing the need for human assistance; As you’re likely aware, automation can describe anything from self-checkout lanes at the grocery store to  automated teller machines (ATMs) at the bank. It is important to study the impact of automation in the workplace and how this technological change might alter companies’ fundamental production processes.

The report found that, globally, the sectors with easily automated labor and the financial resources to overcome the cost barriers associated with industrial robot adoption are naturally the sectors that deploy the most robots. These industries are the automotive and other transportation manufacturing, metal and electrical/electronic manufacturing, chemical manufacturing, food and beverage manufacturing, and wood and paper manufacturing industries. Meanwhile, the education, construction, utilities, textile manufacturing, mining and quarrying, and agriculture, forestry, and fishing industries face more barriers to robot adoption and deploy the fewest robots. Though some industries have been slow to adopt robots, there has been an increase in automation worldwide. Within the United States, industrial robot installations increased at a 10.28 percent compound annual growth rate (CAGR) in the past decade, from 15,170 in 2008 to 40,373 in 2018. The vast majority of U.S. automation is in manufacturing, which represented 82.3 percent of industrial robot installations across all U.S. industries in 2018.

Impact of robots on productivity growth

Another conclusion of the report is that adopting robots has generally led to growth in productivity, but the effects have varied by industry and over time. Among all industries, a one percent increase in robot density correlated with an increase in productivity of 0.8 percent. The largest productivity gains were made in industries where companies were in the early stages of adopting robots. These industries saw a 5.1 percent increase in productivity with an increase in industrial robot density of one percent. Over time, there were still gains in productivity resulting from the use of robots, though they were smaller than the initial increase.

As one might expect, the number of hours worked by employees decreases with robot adoption. As with the productivity trend, if an industry had not previously adopted robots, it saw a larger decrease in hours worked when first implementing robots. These industries saw a 2.7 percent decrease in hours worked with an increase in industrial robot density of one percent.

Investment in manufacturing

Global multinational companies have consistently selected the United States as a destination for their manufacturing operations. In fact, foreign direct investment (FDI) in manufacturing in the United States represented 40.1 percent of all FDI in the United States in 2019, and automation plays a key role in attracting that investment and creating jobs. Our goal in writing this report was to help understand how SelectUSA can better support our clients and continue supporting manufacturing investment into the United States. Following this most recent Manufacturing Day, we want to draw attention to how automation helps keep the United States competitive as a destination for manufacturing FDI and reshoring.

Read the report to understand how automation increases productivity across firms and industries, but also supports a healthy U.S. business ecosystem! 

For more information For more information on industrial robots and productivity growth, check out our recent report on robots and the economy. To learn more about how SelectUSA supports FDI in all industries, sign up for our email updates and visit for resources such as FDI fact sheets, interactive data tools, and informative reports.


Economic Diversification: A Necessary Priority for EDOs

December 21, 2020

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Kara Mazachek is an Economic Research Analyst at SelectUSA

Circle chart showing the top 5 Traded Clusters. Largest to smallest is Business Services, IT, Marketing, Jewelry, Music.
Source: U.S. Cluster Mapping Tool. Accessed 10/2020.

One thing we learned in 2020 is that plans can change very quickly and that the future is never certain – even in business and the economy. As economic development organizations (EDOs) reevaluate their strategic plans, it may be difficult to identify a clear path forward. State and local EDOs, especially those with a strong concentration in only a few key industries, need to implement economic diversification strategies to ensure their economies can continue to provide job opportunities and sustainable economic growth.

Industry diversification enables an economy to be more adaptable and sustainable because the community’s well-being is not directly tied to one sector’s success. It prevents declining property values, provides a defense against unemployment and poverty, and overall, protects other industries within the economy. Diversification allows businesses of all sizes and in other industries to thrive. Additionally, as the economy grows, diversification creates ripple effects, providing room for new businesses to set up operations.

The metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) of Orlando, Florida; Austin, Texas; and San Jose, California are great examples of economic diversification. Not only do these MSAs have the highest employment growth over the last ten years when compared to other MSAs, but they all have some of the strongest industry clusters in the country for multiple industries.

Bar chart showing top clusters by employment.
Source: U.S. Cluster Mapping Tool. Accessed 10/2020.

Austin, Texas had a 41 percent increase in employment over the past decade. According to the latest available data from the U.S. Cluster Mapping Tool, the MSA specializes in business services, information technology, jewelry and precious metals, marketing, design, and publishing, and music and sound recording industries. Not only does Austin’s economy support five large industries, but these industries also support smaller, linked industries like the nonmetal mining, performing arts, education, distribution and ecommerce and financial services industries.  Excerpt visuals from the U.S. Cluster Mapping Tool are available below.

Orlando, Florida has a similar story. The economy had strong clusters in four industries in 2017: environmental services, hospitality, performing arts, and video production. In turn, these industries strengthen the communications and transportation industries. It may be no surprise, then, to learn that total employment in the Orlando metro area has increased 33 percent over the past ten years, based on estimates from JobsEQ.

Doughnut chart showing traded vs. local clusters.
Source: U.S. Cluster Mapping Tool. Accessed 10/2020.

San Jose, California also saw a 32 percent increase in employment over the past ten years. The business services, education, information technology, marketing, design, and publishing, and music and sound recording industries dominate the economy and also support the medical devices, lighting, distribution and ecommerce, and communications industries.

In addition to developing a diversified economy, one way to enhance a local economy is through attracting foreign direct investment (FDI). Not only did FDI support the creation of 7.8 million U.S. jobs in 2018, but foreign-owned companies also spent $66.9 billion in research and development and accounted for 24 percent of all U.S. goods exports. The presence of foreign subsidiaries not only generates money into the local economy but also creates jobs for U.S. workers.


Swiss Companies, U.S. Jobs, Global Response

June 23, 2020

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Edward T. McMullen, Jr. is the U.S. Ambassador to Switzerland and Liechtenstein

A lot has changed in the course of just a few months in 2020. One thing that has not changed: The U.S.-Swiss business relationship remains strong and is a critical part of our overall bilateral ties. In fact, I have been impressed by the innovation and efficiency of Swiss and American companies, working together to find a solution to the pandemic. Switzerland and the United States have a long tradition of cooperation in business and research; we are natural partners, who share common values such as entrepreneurship, the rule of law, freedom, and democracy.

In my nearly three years as Ambassador, I’ve been honored to meet with Swiss companies of all sizes that are supporting jobs in the United States. During the pandemic, I’ve been excited to learn about U.S.-Swiss corporate partnerships working towards vaccines and treatments, Swiss companies that have increased production of critical healthcare equipment, and the companies that have changed their operations to produce resources for the global response. Not only did these companies take swift and decisive action in support of COVID-19, they also increased their U.S. footprint, with operations in many states across the country, thereby providing many more jobs to Americans. The current Administration’s adoption of strong economic growth policies, including low corporate tax rate, and drastic reductions in regulations greatly aided Swiss investors’ pursuit in their U.S. expansions. Our SelectUSA representative and I are in regular contact with these companies and others to assist whenever needed.

For example, Lonza, one of the world’s leading suppliers to the pharmaceutical, biotech and specialty ingredients markets, recently announced a partnership with Massachusetts-based biotechnology firm Moderna to jointly manufacture vaccines to combat the coronavirus. Our Embassy team and SelectUSA have worked with Lonza for several years, and I salute their work in this field. I and SelectUSA Investment Specialist Sandor Galambos visited the Lonza facility in Greenwood, South Carolina in May 2019 to celebrate the progress of a $46 million expansion. The event marked the ceremonial groundbreaking of the project’s second phase. Governor McMaster attended the event as well.

In a fast-track procedure, Swiss multinational healthcare company Roche Diagnostics received emergency approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to sell to labs the first commercially approved test for the coronavirus in the United States. I am grateful that Roche Diagnostics’ top-notch technology has been made available to millions of Americans and people around the world.

As part of my engagement with company principals in Switzerland, I will visit the Hamilton Medical facility in the coming weeks to witness the terrific work the company is doing for humanity. Hamilton Medical ramped up its production of ventilators at its Reno, Nevada, facility to meet the needs of the United States and more than 100 other countries. These efforts are not only beneficial in supporting global health care heroes, but also supporting hundreds of additional jobs in the United States and providing skills training to U.S. workers. President Trump mentioned Hamilton’s role in ventilator supplies at White House press briefings, and Vice President Pence welcomed the delivery of Hamilton ventilators to the national stockpile on April 8.

Firmenich, the world’s largest privately-owned fragrance and taste company, has increased its production capacity to produce hand sanitizer gel for hospitals, as well as for medical and emergency services across the United States. President of Firmenich North America Matthew Furner told me, “We all have an obligation to lead our business responsibly. We at Firmenich are proud that this is always

central to how we do business.” Mr. Furner joined the Swiss delegation to attend the SelectUSA Investment Summit in Washington, D.C., in 2019. He was a featured guest on a panel at the SelectUSA Investment Summit to hear from CEOs on the state of the industry and the myriad opportunities in the United States for potential investors in the food and beverage and agriculture sectors.

These are just a few examples of the many ways the U.S.-Switzerland partnership, led by innovative Swiss and American companies, is helping fight the global pandemic. You can follow our team at @USEmbassyBern to learn about more examples. And when this fight is over, Swiss companies will continue to create jobs and support innovation in the United States, just as so many U.S. firms do in Switzerland.

It is my honor to be a part of those efforts. I salute the entire team at the Embassy and our partners at SelectUSA as we continue to grow this partnership.


Global Outlook: United States Remains the Largest Destination for FDI in the World

March 17, 2020
Kara Mazachek is an Economic Research Analyst at SelectUSA.

The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) released the latest issue of its Global Investment Trends Monitor in January. With this release, the Investment Research team at SelectUSA was excited to analyze the latest global 2019 numbers and better understand a few of the key global foreign direct investment (FDI) trends during the last year!

In 2019, global FDI flows totaled $1.39 trillion, which was a one percent decrease from $1.41 trillion in 2018. These global flows reflect both mergers and acquisitions (M&As) and greenfield investment activity. This slight decline in FDI flow accompanied global patterns of slowed economic growth and policy uncertainty. While there is great country-specific variation in trend, FDI flows to developed countries decreased six percent to a historically low level of $643 billion. Simultaneously, flows to developing countries were constant at $695 billion. Announced greenfield projects, an indicator of future trends, overall performed better than cross-border M&As in 2019. Globally, announced greenfield projects decreased 22 percent, compared to a 40 percent decrease in announced cross-border M&As.

UNCTAD Blog 031720

In contrast to larger declines in other developed economies, the United States received consistent inward FDI between 2018 and 2019, with $251 billion in inflows in 2019. These preliminary estimates indicate that the United States is still the largest destination for FDI in the world, with inflows at least $100 billion greater than those of any other destination market. Germany, Japan, and the Netherlands were the largest source markets of FDI flows to the United States, while U.S. inflows from Canada and the broader European Union (EU) significantly declined.

Overall, the EU saw a 15 percent decrease in FDI inflows to $305 billion. Despite being the top destination for FDI in Europe, the United Kingdom’s FDI inflows fell by six percent as it approached Brexit. France and Germany also were in the top 10 destination markets for FDI inflows at $52 billion and $40 billion, respectively.

FDI inflows to developing Asia made up one-third of global FDI flows in 2019, despite its FDI value declining six percent from 2018. Hong Kong drove much of this drop as its own inflows fell by 48 percent amid divestment and unrest. However, Hong Kong remained the sixth-highest destination market in the world for FDI. Inflows to China saw almost no change from 2018 to 2019, leaving China the second-highest destination market for FDI in the world at $140 billion, followed by Singapore at $110 billion.

Lastly, despite these trends in other parts of the world, the Latin America and Caribbean region saw inflows increase by 16 percent, reaching $170 billion in 2019. Within the region, Brazil’s inward FDI flows increased by 26 percent to $75 billion, cementing itself as the fourth-largest recipient of FDI in the world. UNCTAD gives some of the credit for this jump to Brazil’s new privatization program, which launched in July 2019 as an effort to revitalize the economy.

What does this mean for 2020? The global outlook is optimistic! UNCTAD projects that global FDI flows will increase slightly during the next year alongside continuing high corporate profits and growing international trade. UNCTAD also expects GDP growth and capital investment to increase globally. While UNCTAD noted a 22 percent decrease in global greenfield FDI announcements from 2018 to 2019, the opposite was true for the United States. Data from fDi Markets indicated that the value of greenfield FDI announcements into the United States totaled $91.7 billion in 2019, a 26.9 percent increase from 2018.

With consistently strong U.S. growth in greenfield FDI and a positive global forecast, SelectUSA is excited to welcome and facilitate even more greenfield investment in the United States throughout 2020.

About SelectUSA
Housed within the U.S. Department of Commerce’s International Trade Administration, SelectUSA promotes and facilitates business investment in the United States. To learn more about SelectUSA’s services, the U.S. business and investment climate, and how FDI benefits the U.S. economy, visit and follow @SelectUSA on Twitter.


FDI in High-Tech: Innovation and Growth in The United States

February 5, 2020

Kara Mazachek is an Economic Research Analyst at SelectUSA

Following SelectUSA’s participation in the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), it is the optimal time to look at how foreign direct investment (FDI) in high technology, or high-tech, supports innovation and growth in the United States.

What is high-tech?
SelectUSA defines the high-tech sector as an industry that relies on a skilled and educated workforce, acts as an innovative producer in our economy, and creates and utilizes advanced technologies. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the high-tech sector’s share of workers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) occupations is more than twice that of the national average.

This industry is quite large and growing consistently, according to data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA). In 2018, high-tech companies contributed $8.3 trillion of economic value in the United States, accounting for nearly 23 percent of U.S. gross domestic product (GDP). Additionally, high-tech companies employ approximately 20 million U.S. workers. The U.S. high-tech industry also continues to grow, especially in fields such as the data processing, hosting, and related services sub-industry, which had a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 57.9 percent from 2013 to 2018.

How has FDI impacted the U.S. high-tech sector?
FDI supports the high-tech industry in the United States and helps it thrive. Specifically, the inward position of FDI in the U.S. high-tech sector was $2.0 trillion in 2018. That’s 46 percent of total FDI in the United States! It also steadily continues to grow: the five-year CAGR for FDI in the high-tech sector was 10.1 percent between 2013 and 2018. This growth is faster than the comparable all-industry FDI CAGR average of 9.8 percent.

High-Tech FDI in US for the Feb 5 Blog Post

The United States sees tangible results from high-tech FDI. According to BEA, foreign-owned companies in high-tech industries have steadily increased their annual U.S. research and development (R&D) spending over recent years to $48.7 billion in 2017. High-tech FDI also accounted for $169.5 billion of total U.S. goods exports in 2017. Additionally, foreign-owned U.S. affiliates in the high-tech sector directly supported more than 2.1 million U.S. jobs in 2017.

So, what does this mean for the high-tech sector?
All these data points further confirm that high-tech investment are important drivers of growth for the U.S. economy. As FDI into this sector continues to grow, the United States will see advanced innovation, continue to employ millions of highly skilled and educated workers, and further the competitiveness of our high-tech sector. To maintain success in high-tech and all other sectors, SelectUSA will continue to help global business investors and U.S. economic developers to succeed in the U.S. economy.

To learn more about how SelectUSA supports FDI in all industries, sign up for our email updates and visit for resources such as FDI fact sheets, interactive data tools, and informative reports. You can also read our previous report on FDI in high-tech.

About SelectUSA
Housed within the U.S. Department of Commerce’s International Trade Administration, SelectUSA promotes and facilitates business investment in the United States. To learn more about SelectUSA’s services, the U.S. business and investment climate, and how FDI benefits the U.S. economy, visit and follow @SelectUSA on Twitter.