Archive for the ‘SelectUSA’ Category

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Ringing in 2017 with a Focus on Foreign Direct Investment

January 6, 2017

Vinai Thummalapally is Executive Director of SelectUSA

“There’s no substitute for those three proud words: ‘Made in America.’” Thus began my first ever blog post as Executive Director of SelectUSA in 2013.  These words were spoken by none other than President Barack Obama on October 31, 2013 addressing participants of the inaugural SelectUSA Investment Summit.  Clearly the words made an impression – and it’s been a very good year for foreign direct investment (FDI).

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Thummalapally (front, left) leads a demonstration of SelectUSA’s online data tool with staff and Summit participants at last year’s SelectUSA Investment Summit.

Total FDI in the United States again broke records, reaching $3.1 trillion.  In 2016, for the fourth year in a row, the United States topped A.T. Kearney’s FDI Confidence Index. And additionally we received a new honor – ranking first in the Global Entrepreneurship and Development Institute’s annual Index.

FDI attraction is a highly collaborative endeavor, requiring business leader input, all-of-government engagement, inter-agency cooperation, and the deep local knowledge, expertise, and passion of economic developers.  This is exemplified by the U.S. Investment Advisory Council (IAC), which was officially convened as a true public-private partnership of international business leaders, economic developers, and government representatives to advise the Secretary of Commerce on the best ways to attract FDI to the United States.  The Council recently made four recommendations for enhancing FDI in the United States – promote infrastructure investment opportunities; continue to work to remove barriers to FDI; harmonize federal, state, and regional FDI attraction objectives and strategies; and redouble our workforce development efforts to prepare for today’s needs.

Another notable milestone in 2016 was how our events settled into a comfortable rhythm, auguring high expectations for 2017.

In April, the SelectUSA brand achieved peak visibility through our participation at Hannover Messe as official Partner Country with Germany.  President Barack Obama led the largest-ever U.S. delegation to the world’s top industrial technology trade show, and became the first sitting U.S. President to attend the event.

In June, the third SelectUSA Investment Summit was held in Washington, D.C. with more than 2,500 attendees. More than 1,000 investors from 70 countries, economic development organizations from every corner of the United States, 20 federal agencies and 8 cabinet members joined the President to welcome the delegation. With our 2017 Summit fast approaching in June, our signature event has become an annual tradition.

Finally, we all celebrated the many investment successes for EDOs across the country, a number of which are being highlighted in our latest blog series, Spotlight on EDOs.  To date, SelectUSA, working with our EDO and investor clients in close coordination with our Commercial Service colleagues, has assisted more than $23 billion in client verified investments in the United States.

We are all optimistic about what 2017 will bring.  The fundamentals that make the United States a great place to invest – our markets, our climate of innovation, our rule of law and our people  – are stronger than ever.  And there are new areas opening up than ever before.  For instance, it is widely believed that investment opportunities in infrastructure could amount to more than $1 trillion.  There has never been a better time to invest in the United States.

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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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The Role Foreign Investment Plays in Shaping U.S. Workforce Development

November 17, 2016

This month, SelectUSA is pleased to feature a new multi-part guest blog focusing on workforce opportunities. These posts are authored by members of the Federal Interagency Investment Working Group (IIWG), which is responsible for coordinating activities across federal agencies that promote investment. Read the first entry here.

Guest blog post by John Ladd, Administrator, Office of Apprenticeship & Training Administration, U.S. Department of Labor

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

The U.S. workforce is diverse, skilled, innovative, and mobile – and among the most productive in the world.  Throughout my 20 years working at the Department of Labor, I am continually amazed by stories of Americans who have unlocked their full potential and reached success in their careers.

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Photo of Worker Training in Classroom Setting

As the United States works to meet the needs of a 21st century economy, innovative and collaborative approaches to workforce development are increasingly being interwoven into the American experience.  Apprentices and apprenticeship programs – many of which are being introduced by multinational companies – form a large part of those stories.

This is why, as part of National Apprenticeship Week 2016 (November 14-20th), I am proud to highlight the important role registered apprenticeships have played in our country’s efforts to attract and retain foreign direct investment (FDI).

Apprenticeships provide opportunities that open doors for Americans from a wide array of industry backgrounds. For workers, apprenticeships are a pathway to earn solid wages while learning the skills necessary to succeed in high-demand careers. For employers, they are a way to attract and retain a skilled workforce and build a fresh line of talent from the bottom up.

The apprenticeship model has strong, successful roots in Europe – and is now making its mark on the United States.  Siemens, for example, is a Germany-based industrial company with a strong American arm. They initiated their first apprenticeship program in 2011, and have expanded to North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas and other states. Just last month, Swiss company Nestle announced the Nestle Waters North America partnership with the Maine Department of Labor and a commitment to place 10 percent of its mechanic hires into apprenticeship roles by 2022. Another Swiss company, Zurich Insurance, has also recently launched a U.S. program and aims to have 100 apprentices in it by 2020.

The larger, nationwide effort to foster FDI opportunities is supported by organizations like SelectUSA, a federal program housed in the International Trade Administration, part of the U.S. Department of Commerce. SelectUSA helps facilitate job-creating business investments into the United States and raises awareness of the critical role that FDI plays in the U.S. economy. Many of these jobs are increasingly being linked to registered apprenticeship programs.

I am proud to work alongside my colleagues to help inspire other companies to invest in registered apprenticeship programs in the United States. The long-term benefits are twofold, helping both job seekers and employers. For more information and to get involved, please visit our website. You can also join the conversation and share your stories using the hashtag #ApprenticeshipWorks.

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Spotlight on Commerce: Karen Garcia, Special Advisor to the Executive Director of SelectUSA

October 4, 2016
Spotlight

Karen Garcia, Special Advisor to the Executive Director of SelectUSA

This post originally appeared on the Department of Commerce blog.

As Special Advisor to the Executive Director of SelectUSA, I advise the Executive Director on a range of policy and operational processes that allow us to use the convening power of the U.S. government to showcase this nation as the prime location for investment and ultimately job creation.

I was born and raised in Colorado to parents who arrived from Mexico in search of their very own American dream. Inspired by my parents, one thing was engrained in me, dedicate completely to education – as it is the only way to achieve not only a better life, but also a gratifying career. After a few years, I became the first person in my family to graduate from high school and go to college. Once at the University of Colorado in Boulder I decided to major in International Affairs and Italian, where I submerged myself in international issues I observed while in Mexico. I subsequently obtained my Master’s Degree in Ethics, Peace, and Global Affairs at American University, where my desire to work in the public sector only strengthened.

Through my educational and professional career, I’ve received immense support from a number of successful Hispanic Americans and organizations such as the Hispanic Association for Colleges and Universities who have all contributed to who and where I am now. As I meet younger generations of Hispanic Americans interested in my field, I encourage them to be active and grow their social capital by: engaging in the issues important to them and their communities; seek out the volunteer and professional opportunities available throughout the country and abroad; and more importantly to work hard and zealously at everything they do.

As the Hispanic Heritage Month continues, I cannot help but think of a quote by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, my favorite author: “It is not true that people stop pursuing dreams because they grow old, they grow old because they stop pursuing dreams.” As a Mexican American connected to her roots, I see and hear the hundreds of thousands of dreams alive in the Hispanic American community and I hope I can assist in keep the dreams alive and the dreamers young.

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2015: A Banner Year for #FDIintheUSA

August 11, 2016

By Elizabeth Schaefer, Director of Investment Analysis, SelectUSA

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

As SelectUSA’s resident economist, I am responsible for leading data, evaluation, and analytical work relating to foreign direct investment (FDI) promotion in the United States. So it was with great interest that I reviewed the newly released preliminary 2014 and revised 2013 FDI activity data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA), which follows the July release of 2015 FDI Inward Stock data measured by ultimate beneficial owner (UBO).

This updated data provides a picture of the inward flow of FDI into the United States, as well as the economic activity of U.S. affiliates of foreign-owned firms. The numbers reflect continued steady growth in productive FDI in the United States, and provide insight into the direct jobs, average compensation, and exports supported by FDI.

But as always, it makes most sense to start at the beginning.

FDI Definition and Parameters

Foreign direct investment, as defined by BEA, generally captures a long-term relationship with the management of a foreign enterprise which is usually linked with the real output of the country in which it operates.

Sources of FDI in the United States

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The latest available 2015 data show the continued strong investment relationship with markets such as the United Kingdom, Japan, Canada, and Germany, which are historically large sources of investment into the United States. In fact, these top four sources of direct investment alone account for the majority of FDI in the United States. The top four fastest-growing sources of FDI in the United States, calculated by looking at 2010-2015 compound annual average growth rate, are Argentina, Chile, China and Malaysia. In contrast to the largest sources of investment, these top four relatively new sources of investment make up less than 1 percent of all FDI stock in the United States. It is important to note that these figures attribute FDI ownership to the market at the top of each investment’s ownership chain, the Ultimate Beneficiary Owner, rather than capturing investment passed through intermediate markets.

Jobs

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In 2014, FDI from majority foreign-owned firms was responsible for 6.4 million direct jobs in the United States, an increase of more than 1 million since the end of the 2009 recession. In addition, these are high-impact jobs. According to BEA, the average annual compensation per direct FDI worker in 2014 grew to $80,041.

Other Related Activities

R&D

FDI is also enhancing U.S. global competitiveness with increased spending on high-value activities such as research and development (R&D). The U.S.-based affiliates of majority foreign-owned firms spent nearly $57 billion on R&D activities in the United States.

Exports

Linkages between trade and investment also deepened due to growth in FDI. Exports of goods shipped by majority foreign-owned affiliates increased in 2014 to more than $425 billion, up from $360 billion in 2013 and accounting for over a quarter of all U.S. goods exports.

What’s Next?

This 2015 data is available in our SelectUSA Stats data visualization tool and updated activity data will follow shortly. A national level overview of FDI data is available on the SelectUSA website and updated country and state factsheets will soon be made available on the same page.

SelectUSA will host a webinar on the new FDI activity data, including state and industry detail, in the next month.

You can also follow our #FDIintheUSA campaign on Twitter!

For more information on FDI data and SelectUSA services, please send an email to info@selectusa.gov.

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SelectUSA: What’s your Next Step?

June 23, 2016

By Vinai Thummalapally, Executive Director, SelectUSA

The 2016 SelectUSA Investment Summit wrapped up earlier this week, but the action hasn’t stopped.  Representatives of international companies are traveling to other parts of the country as they search for locations to establish or expand operations. U.S. economic development organizations (EDOs) from every corner of the United States have packed up their booths, but many of them are still meeting or hosting investors. And the team at SelectUSA and the U.S. Department of Commerce is fielding inquiries, receiving feedback, and providing services to companies and EDOs.

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President Barack Obama speaks at the 2016 SelectUSA Summit

Hosted by President Barack Obama and Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker, the SelectUSA Summit is the highest profile event to promote job-creating foreign direct investment (FDI) in the United States. The momentum from this year’s event will take our efforts to a new level. More than 2,500 participants from across the United States and 70 foreign markets convened in Washington, D.C. from June 19 – 21 to discuss diverse opportunities, find practical tools and information, and meet the right people to move investments forward.

In addition to Secretary Pritzker, seven members of President Obama’s Cabinet, welcomed participants: Secretary of State John Kerry, Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew, Secretary of Agriculture Thomas Vilsack, Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez, Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx, Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz, and Ambassador Michael Froman, United States Trade Representative (watch online). They were joined by Governor Jack Markell of Delaware, Governor Nathan Deal of Georgia, Governor Butch Otter of Idaho, and Governor Terry McAuliffe of Virginia, who helped show the essential role that state governments play in economic development. Business leaders from a range of industries shared their experiences with the audience, and 22 U.S. Chiefs of Mission personally led delegations of investors.

The SelectUSA Summit started on Sunday, June 19, with the Summit Academy, a pre-Summit orientation designed for first-time investors and U.S. economic developers. Held in filled-to-capacity conference rooms at the Washington Hilton, the Academy sessions were designed to help participants understand the U.S. regulatory environment, tap into resources and networks, build successful investment strategies, pitch locations to international investors, and much more.

On Monday, Secretary Pritzker opened the main Summit program, remarking on the resilience of the U.S. economy and the country’s high-quality workforce. “[Investors] choose the United States because of the talent, ingenuity, and productivity of our people.” She continued, “The American economy is the strongest, most durable, most innovative economy in the world – and there has never been a better time to invest in the United States.”

President Obama delivered the keynote address, highlighting the benefits of FDI for the U.S. economy. The U.S. affiliates of foreign companies directly employ 6.1 million people in the United States, and another 5.9 million jobs are attributable to FDI through sourcing, productivity growth, and other economic effects. These companies exported $360 billion worth of goods from the United States and spent $53 billion on U.S. research and development in 2013 alone.

The President spoke about the transformative power of U.S. innovation: “No country has done more to build a culture of making and tinkering, and entrepreneurship and risk-taking, and of innovation and invention.”

He announced that the Smart Manufacturing Leadership Coalition will lead the new Smart Manufacturing Innovation Institute, in partnership with the U.S. Department of Energy. The coalition, headquartered in Los Angeles, brings nearly 200 partners across academia, industries, and nonprofits from around the country together to spur advances in smart sensors and digital process controls that can radically improve the efficiency of U.S. advanced manufacturing. The Smart Manufacturing Innovation Institute is the ninth manufacturing hub awarded as part of the National Network for Manufacturing Innovation (NNMI). The President also announced the launch of five new manufacturing hub competitions, which will invest nearly $800 million in combined federal and non-federal resources to support transformative manufacturing technologies.

Offstage, the Exhibition Hall was alive with energy, showing the incredible diversity of the United States. U.S. EDOs promoted their locations to representatives of international firms, and participants could walk from California to Texas to Vermont, learning each step of the way, simply by crossing the room. Using the new, digital Poken matchmaking system, participants could search for and connect with potential business partners.

Next to the Exhibition Hall, the U.S. Government Pavilion featured representatives from SelectUSA and 20 other federal agencies. Experts were available to answer questions about visas and customs, economic data, workforce programs, supply chain and export services, resources for innovation, and more. Representatives from the Economic and Statistics Administration, for example, shared their 2016 update to their 2013 FDI report, which found that investment in the United States remains strong, and total FDI stock in the United States grew an average of 6 percent per year from 2009-2014.

That same day, the inaugural meeting of the new Investment Advisory Council met at the White House. Earlier this month, Secretary Pritzker appointed 19 public and private sector leaders as members of the council, who will provide key stakeholder input on how best to support U.S. economic growth through the attraction and retention of FDI.

Secretary of State John Kerry gave the closing address to the Summit, highlighting the benefits of FDI to U.S. economy and, in turn, the world. Secretary Kerry reiterated the common theme that when we do business across borders, governments enjoy mutual benefits: “[It] is clear that when you invest in the United States today, you are investing in a more prosperous world, in a more secure planet, and in a future of peace and opportunity.”

On behalf of SelectUSA, I want to thank everyone involved in making the Summit a success. It has been an honor to work across the federal government and with EDOs and companies from across the country and the world. We are inspired, and we’re excited to continue our mission. Secretary Pritzker announced that the fourth SelectUSA Investment Summit will take place June 18-20, 2017 in Washington, D.C., and the SelectUSA team offers services all year round. We’re already working on our next steps to keep our economy moving forward – we are excited to hear about your next steps as well.