Archive for the ‘SelectUSA’ Category

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And So It Begins: Day One of the 2017 SelectUSA Investment Summit

June 18, 2017

By Fred Volcansek, Executive Director, SelectUSA

Today, we kicked off the 2017 SelectUSA Investment Summit with the SelectUSA Investment Academy, a half-day, 25-session program designed to offer a deeper dive into the U.S. investment process. Economic developers and international business investors converged on the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center with one goal: to make the most of their time at the Summit.

The “Make It in Rural America” Academy session. From left to right: Heather Ranck, International Trade Specialist, U.S. Department of Commerce; Brett Doney, CEO, Great Falls Development Authority, State of Montana; Scott Hercik, Transportation and International Trade Advisor, Appalachian Regional Commission; and Brad Little, Lieutenant Governor, State of Idaho

The “Make It in Rural America” Academy session. From left to right: Heather Ranck, International Trade Specialist, U.S. Department of Commerce; Brett Doney, CEO, Great Falls Development Authority, State of Montana; Scott Hercik, Transportation and International Trade Advisor, Appalachian Regional Commission; and Brad Little, Lieutenant Governor, State of Idaho

It all began with early registration and one of many Summit firsts – an opportunity for individuals eligible for the U.S. Global Entry program to participate in pre-arranged interviews with the U.S. Customs and Immigration Services (USCIS) on site! Global Entry is a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) program that allows expedited clearance for pre-approved, low-risk travelers upon arrival in the United States – in other words, more valuable time to get straight to business.

Today’s main order of business was the SelectUSA Investment Academy. With short sessions and a highly interactive format, the Investment Academy is essentially a crash course, or, depending on attendee experience, a refresher. Panels are made up of leading business and economic experts and government leaders, each providing the audience with actionable information on how to make the most of their next investment deal.

This year’s Investment Academy was brimming with interest. In one session, attendees were shown a demo of the U.S. Cluster Mapping Open Data Tool by SelectUSA’s Director of Investment Analysis, Elizabeth Shaefer. At another, a panel of experts explained why and how international investors should “Make It in Rural America.” Still others explored a myriad of topics – from taxes and visas to site selection and economic development lead and pipeline management. Also making its debut at the Investment Academy were special sessions by eight federal agencies/bureaus, sharing valuable information and providing participants with a unique opportunity to engage with some of the U.S. government’s most experienced practitioners. These agencies will also be represented in full force at the U.S. Government Pavilion in the Exhibition Hall throughout the three-day Summit, offering additional valuable face-to-face time.

One of the day’s many highlights was the opening of the Exhibition Hall. Here, the sheer diversity and economic strength of the United States was on full display. Now through Tuesday afternoon, economic development organizations (EDOs) from 50 states and territories are displaying what their states, territories, regions, and cities have to offer the world. If you’re attending the Summit, I encourage you to take this unique opportunity to stroll across the entire United States – in a single 79,000-sq.-ft. room. State and Local Night, which begins on Monday at 5:00, is an especially lively time!

Tomorrow’s Agenda

The Summit continues tomorrow. U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross will open the proceedings, welcoming more than 2,800 participants from across the United States and 64 international markets to the largest-yet SelectUSA Investment Summit.

The mainstage panels and breakout sessions will cover a broad range of topics affecting investment in the United States. Senior government officials will be joined by top-level executives from companies like GE, General Motors, Siemens USA, and Oracle. At 12:00 p.m., Secretary Ross will join UK Secretary of State for International Trade and President of the Board of Trade Liam Fox for an armchair discussion on the strength of the bilateral trade relationship between the United States and the United Kingdom.

Additionally, Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin and South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster will take the stage, along with Energy Secretary Rick Perry and the Department of Commerce’s Deputy Chief of Staff to the Secretary of Commerce performing the duties of the Acting Under Secretary for International Trade Israel Hernandez.

I am also looking forward to two specific events: an exciting announcement from Secretary Ross regarding a new investment in New York by an award-winning French startup (in Chesapeake D-F), and a workforce development recognition ceremony with Secretary Ross and Governor McMaster in the Exhibition Hall. Both events are firsts of their kind for SelectUSA, and we are proud to have been part of the teams that made it happen.

If you were not able to join us this year, I invite you to watch the main plenary sessions via livestream and follow live coverage on Twitter.

I know this will be the best SelectUSA Investment Summit yet, and I look forward to hearing about how your company or EDO found its next investment deal.

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Swiss Companies Like Oerlikon Select the USA

June 13, 2017

Sandor Galambos is a SelectUSA Investment Specialist based in the U.S. Embassy in Switzerland.

With a total stock of $143.5 billion, Switzerland is one of the largest sources of foreign direct investment (FDI) in the United States. More than 460,000 American workers are directly employed by the U.S. affiliates of majority Swiss-owned firms.

Swiss manufacturer Oerlikon has a global footprint in 37 countries, supporting sales of more than $2.3 billion in 2016. Even with such a massive global operation, the company was looking for a location to start new operations to solidify its global market position in additive manufacturing.

Like many companies in the world, Oerlikon looked to the United States, and its decision to invest here is helping the company find new customers and creating jobs for U.S. workers.

Interestingly, the journey for Oerlikon began at a reception in Zurich, hosted by then-Ambassador Suzan LeVine. It was at that reception that company leaders heard the pitch about the United States—its manufacturing resurgence, productive workforce, and culture of innovation. Our SelectUSA team got involved immediately, working with Oerlikon officials to provide an understanding of the U.S. market and start planning a growth strategy for U.S. operations.

The company chose to participate in the 2016 SelectUSA Investment Summit (Summit), joining a delegation of Swiss companies led by Ambassador LeVine. We set up meetings for Oerlikon representatives in advance, so the entire two days of the conference were spent connecting directly with economic development organizations and potential partners that could help the company hit the ground running in the United States.

It was a meeting with the Charlotte Regional Partnership at the Summit that ultimately led to Oerlikon committing to a $62 million investment in Huntersville, N.C. This facility will employ engineers, research and development technicians, and skilled craftsman at an average salary well above the regional average.

The facility will be operational in 2018, and it will offer U.S. industrial customers a single source for a full suite of integrated advanced manufacturing services, including R&D, design, applications engineering, production, and processing. The Charlotte region is home to a rapidly growing number of global industrial, aerospace, and automotive firms, and the Oerlikon investment will contribute to the region’s manufacturing business culture.

When global companies look to the United States, it truly is a win-win. Not only does the company connect to a promising market, it also creates opportunities for U.S. workers.

Our SelectUSA team looks forward to bringing more Swiss companies to the United States in June for the 2017 SelectUSA Investment Summit, connecting firms to more growth opportunities in the promising U.S. market. For any global company or economic development team looking to make business connections, the Investment Summit is the place to be.

Not Attending the Summit?

If you are unable to attend this year, I invite you to follow the coverage on Twitter. Using #SelectUSASummit and #GrowWithUS17, you’ll be able to join the online conversation with attendees.

 

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In Idaho, Rural is a Great Investment

June 9, 2017

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.

By Megan Ronk, Director, Idaho Commerce

In Idaho, we know as well as anyone what great opportunities rural America provides to businesses from across the world. From a highly skilled workforce, government support, and unmatched natural resources, more and more businesses are realizing the advantages of investing in rural states like Idaho.

During the last several years, Idaho has become home to many significant relocation and expansion projects. Chobani’s decision to build the world’s largest yogurt facility in Twin Falls raised eyebrows around the world. But the company’s decision to invest in our state, plus numerous other examples, highlights Idaho’s diverse economy, and the many ways rural America can support a variety of different businesses and industries.

  • Kochava, a leading software analytics company, chose to expand in Sandpoint, creating more than 200 new jobs and more than $100 million in new wages.
  • The Dow Chemical Company constructed a $20 million facility in Burley, generating more than $12 million in new wages.
  • Orgill, the world’s largest independent hardlines distributor, will be expanding into a distribution center in Post Falls, creating more than 130 jobs and $68 million in new wages.
  • McCain Foods USA, whose parent company is based in Canada, recently announced a substantial expansion to its potato processing plant in Burley, an expansion to the tune of $200 million and 180 new jobs. McCain is the largest manufacturer of frozen potato products in the world, and a supplier to thousands of restaurants and supermarkets across the globe

These are not only huge economic wins for Idaho, but also a perfect example of why investing in Rural America is a great business decision.

McCain’s decision to put down roots in Idaho and grow in the state has been the result of a joint effort on the part of the company’s leadership and a collaboration between local and state officials, associations, and the company.

International investments like McCain demonstrate the draw and economic opportunity of rural communities in the United States. By maintaining a business-friendly economic climate, low tax rates, reasonable regulations, access to a first-class workforce, low-cost power, and many other advantages, we expect to see continued growth and expansion in our rural communities.

If you’re a global business investor looking for your company’s next expansion location, we recommend taking a look at rural America.

Attending the SelectUSA Summit?

We are excited to participate in the upcoming SelectUSA Investment Summit, June 18-20. If you’ll be there, too, we invite you to see Idaho Lieutenant Governor Brad Little at the “Make it in Rural America” session during the SelectUSA Investment Academy. Afterwards, stop by Booth 311 in the Exhibition Hall to meet Team Idaho. We look forward to showing you what The Gem State has to offer.

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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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The U.S. Government Pavilion at the SelectUSA Investment Summit – Federal Investment Resources at Your Fingertips

May 31, 2017

 

Andrew Owusu is an Intern at SelectUSA

The 2017 SelectUSA Investment Summit provides a platform to communicate economic priorities and affirm the United States as the number one destination in the world for foreign direct investment.  Looking for U.S. economic data and analysis? The U.S. Government (USG) Pavilion in the Exhibition Hall at the Summit will feature representatives from federal agencies that can help participants find and understand U.S. economic indicators. They include:

  • The Economics and Statistics Administration (ESA) which performs high-quality economic analysis, disseminates national economic indicators   and fosters the mission of the U.S. Census Bureau (Census), the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) and the Office of the Chief Economist (OCE).  OCE created the Assess Costs Everywhere (ACE) tool for businesses to evaluate locating in the U.S.;
  • The Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) is a trusted and impartial source of data and statistics on the U.S. economy. BEA data is comprehensive and available for free to all;
  • The U.S. Census Bureau is the leading source of data about the nation’s people and economy; The U.S. Census Bureau provides a wealth of demographic and economic data that can help potential businesses make informed investment decisions.

Looking for data specifically on FDI?  SelectUSA Stats is a public, free online data visualization tool that allows you to compare data on foreign direct investment into the United States. The tool features interactive dashboards that display graphical data. The data, from sources like BEA, includes useful categories such as greenfield investment by country, stock and flow, impacts on U.S. employment, exports, research and development; FDI trends by industry, country, and state. With a choice of multiple data agencies, attendees have numerous opportunities to pick up practical tools and strategies from expert practitioners in a variety of investment-related fields.

Officials will also be standing by to provide information on workforce and training programs, U.S. exports, supply chain, research and innovation, U.S. visas, and the Global Entry program. Below is a list of all of the federal agencies, along with their booth numbers, that are participating in the USG Pavilion.

GP1: U.S. Department of State

GP2: U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services

GP3: U.S. Customs and Border Protection

GP6: U.S. Department of Commerce Rural Team

GP7-8: SelectUSA Stats

GP9: International Trade Administration, Industry and Analysis

GP10: Export Assistance Programs

GP11: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Rural Development

GP12: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Foreign Agricultural Service

GP13: U.S. Economic Development Administration 

GP14: Minority Business Development Agency

GP15: Bureau of Industry and Security

GP16: The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative

GP17:  U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

GP18: Export-Import Bank of the United States

GP19: U.S. Department of Transportation

GP20: U.S. Small Business Administration 

GP21: UNICOR

GP22: U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

GP23-24: U.S. Department of Labor

GP25-26: Bureau of Economic Analysis

GP27:  Economics Statistics Administration

GP28: U.S. Census Bureau

GP29: National Institute of Standards and Technology, Manufacturing Extension Partnership

GP30: National Network for Manufacturing Innovation, Manufacturing USA

GP31-32: The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office

A number of U.S. government representatives will also be participating in the matchmaking system, so interested attendees will be able to request meetings and learn more about the various resources that the agencies offer.

We look forward to seeing you next month at the 2017 SelectUSA Investment Summit.  If you’re interested in learning more about the Summit and USG Pavilion, but unable to attend in person, SelectUSA can help you find information on federal tools and programs. Please visit our website and contact us.

 

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SelectUSA Investment Academy – New Pathways to Investment Promotion Success June 18, 2017

May 9, 2017

By Elena Volkava, Intern, SelectUSA

 The 2017 SelectUSA Investment Summit (June 18-20) is next month! This one-of-a-kind event brings together more than 2,000 attendees enabling international businesses to find the people, the resources, and market opportunities in the United States.

 Are you considering an investment in the United States or looking for new ideas to guide your economic development strategy? SelectUSA offers a half-day interactive program – the Investment Academy – with more than 20 workshops. With a focus on practical information and best practices, these workshops are designed specifically to answer questions about establishing and maintaining successful business operations, or attracting high-impact investment, in the United States. Sessions are designed for a more intimate and engaging setting, and include dedicated time for questions and answers.

What’s New in 2017?

Open to All Participants

For the first time, the Investment Academy is open to all Summit participants with full-access passes at no additional cost. Take advantage of this opportunity to learn from expert practitioners and representatives of international companies, state and local governments, and economic development organizations (EDOs) and apply best practices to enhance your organizations and build new partnerships.

Expanded Topics and Sessions

With choices of multiple concurrent sessions, investors are given opportunities to learn about practical tools and strategies for selecting a location, the U.S. regulatory environment, and a wide range of legal protections. For companies looking to expand operations in the United States, a special workshop will use a case study approach to illustrate the business investment decision-making process around a U.S. manufacturing expansion. In addition, EDOs will learn how relationships at different levels can facilitate the site selection process, workforce development, financing, marketing and public relations.

 Federal Government Spotlight

Don’t have a lot of time? In addition to regular Investment Academy programming, we are excited to introduce 30-minute informational sessions from the following eight U.S. government agencies, specifically geared towards investors and EDOs. Learn more about the agencies before you arrive by clicking on the following links:

More Networking Opportunities

With expanded exhibition hall hours on Sunday and a mid-afternoon ice-cream social, there are more opportunities than ever for smaller-group networking during the Investment Academy. At the end of the day, the Summit welcome reception provides the perfect opportunity to wrap up, network further, and look ahead to what’s next.

Now is the time to take advantage of this unique opportunity to interact with peers and experts and apply best practices to enhance your organization, develop new partnerships, and build new pathways to success.  Register or learn more at www.selectusasummit.us.

 

 

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Looking Back at Hannover Messe and Forward to the SelectUSA Investment Summit

May 5, 2017

Kenneth Hyatt, Under Secretary for International Trade, U.S. Department of Commerce

 It was an honor to represent the United States at the largest industrial technology trade show in the world last month. It was also an inspiring look into how and why the United States continues to lead on the cutting edge of innovation and opportunity.

Hannover Messe 2017 (April 24-28, in Hannover, Germany) brought the global industrial technology industry together in one location. More than 200,000 attendees from over 60 countries got a chance to see incredible technology in action. From always-connected household devices to augmented-reality goggles, “Industry 4.0” was in full force across 27 conference halls. The United States had a prominent presence in most of these halls.

As my colleague Jason Lindesmith noted in an earlier blog post, U.S. innovation was on full display in each of the U.S. pavilions and booths. More than 220 exhibitors, representing 30 states and territories, brought American ingenuity to the spotlight through advanced robotics, smart technology, and the “Internet of Things.”

U.S. leadership in advanced technology extends beyond U.S.-based companies. German companies directly employ nearly 700,000 Americans in the United States. These companies understand that investing in the United States is not just good for their bottom lines; it’s a win for U.S. jobs.

It isn’t hard to see why German companies are bullish on the U.S. market. The United States is the top foreign direct investment (FDI) location in the world, a fact made clear by the SelectUSA Pavilion. International technology companies stopped by the pavilion and met face-to-face with economic developers from across the United States.

SelectUSA is the investment promotion program of the U.S. government. Working with economic development organizations (EDOs) and global companies looking for their next investment opportunities, SelectUSA’s team of dedicated investment specialists facilitate job-creating investment in communities across America. Once a year, SelectUSA holds the top FDI event in the country: the SelectUSA Investment Summit.

I look forward to attending this year’s Summit, June 18-20, at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center in the Washington, D.C. area. This event is an unparalleled opportunity for global companies, U.S. EDOs, and other stakeholders to meet under one roof to forge partnerships and hear from senior government officials, business executives, and industry leaders.

Registration is still open for the Summit, but space is quickly filling up. More than 2,000 investors from 70 international markets, economic developers from across the United States, and industry experts from around the world will be there. I hope you’ll be among them – Grow with us by applying for registration.