Posts Tagged ‘investment’


Bringing Lessons Home From Korea

March 26, 2014
SelectUSA Director Vinai Thummalapally speaks to investors in Korea about services available through the SelectUSA program.

SelectUSA Director Vinai Thummalapally speaks to investors in Korea about services available through the SelectUSA program.

Vinai Thummalapally is the Executive Director of the SelectUSA Program.

South Korea is currently the 16th largest and 14th fastest-growing source of investment in the United States.

That investment has grown rapidly – at a compound annual growth rate of 14.9 percent from 2008 to 2012. The U.S. subsidiaries of Korean companies directly employ more than 32,000 people in the United States, contributing almost $60 billion to the U.S. economy.

These firms export almost $9.7 billion worth of goods from the United States.

Those are great numbers, and we want to see them continue to grow.

To that end, I am excited to announce that our Commercial Service team in Seoul, Korea is hosting a Road Show event on Friday, May 16 – the week before an already announced Japan Road Show. The events will provide an opportunity for U.S. economic development organizations to connect with Korean companies interested in investing or increasing their investment in the United States.

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I recently returned from a trip to Seoul, Korea, where I had the pleasure of meeting with our team at the U.S. Embassy, our partners in the Government of the Republic of Korea, and investors who are interested in setting up shop in the United States. Together we traveled to different companies in Korea to get feedback and talk about their experiences working with the U.S. I also enjoyed sitting down with investors and trade associations to talk about SelectUSA and its services for helping companies expand investment in the U.S. These conversations help inform programming so that participants get the most out of events like the upcoming road shows.

While in Seoul, I joined U.S. Ambassador Sung Kim and Senior Commercial Service Officer Jim Sullivan to welcome officials from Hankook Tires and congratulate them on their announcement of the firm’s first U.S. manufacturing facility in Clarksville, Tennessee. The company is investing more than $800 million in the new plant, which is expected to create approximately 1,800 full-time jobs.

We also met with Samsung to learn more about its significant investments in the United States, including its recently announced project to build a new Silicon Valley R&D Center in Mountain View, California.

Another stop included the Korea International Trade Association (KITA), which represents more than 71,000 companies. We had the opportunity to talk with some of their members about President Obama’s expansion of SelectUSA, including investor visas and how our interagency team at the U.S. Embassy in Seoul – which includes staff from the U.S. Departments of State and Agriculture – can help them invest in the U.S.

We look forward to working with the states, cities, and regional organizations who take advantage of the opportunities at the upcoming Road Show in Korea.


Serving the U.S. Business Community in South Africa

October 5, 2009

Jed Diemond has been with the Market Access and Compliance (MAC) division of ITA for almost eight years.  He serves as the Senior International Economist covering the five Southern African Customs Union (SACU) countries – Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia, South Africa, and Swaziland. 

Last month I got to do the most interesting and fun part of my job: I staffed Stephen Jacobs, the acting assistant secretary for MAC, during his trip to Johannesburg and Pretoria, South Africa.  I worked very closely with the Senior Commercial Officer in South Africa, Craig Allen, and his staff on the trip.  Over an intense two days, we had a series of meetings with U.S. companies based in South Africa, South African business and trade promotion organizations, and South African government trade officials.  Our goal was to explore ways to expand the U.S.-South Africa trade and investment relationship.  Some of the themes of the meetings included cooperation on intellectual property rights protection and advancing trade and investment promotion cooperation in the context of a U.S.-SACU trade and investment dialogue that we are trying to jump-start. As the South Africa desk officer, I had the unique opportunity to work with Acting Assistant Secretary Jacobs to shape our message in the meetings and expand my own working relationships in South Africa, which allows me be more effective in my job.


Asian-Pacific FDI Contributions to U.S. Economy

September 17, 2009

Aaron Brickman has been with the International Trade Administration for over seven years.  He currently serves as the Director of Invest in America; and is responsible for management and coordination of foreign direct investment promotion and related activities of the U.S. Department of Commerce.

As the director of Invest in America, the primary U.S. government mechanism to manage foreign direct investment promotion on the federal level, I’m currently conducting foreign direct investment (FDI) seminars and presentations in Taipei and India.  The long flight from Taiwan to India is a great opportunity to provide an update on the growth of FDI from Asia to the United States.

Invest in America (IIA) recently published a paper detailing the important role of Asian-Pacific direct investment to the U.S. economy.  The report, “Asian-Pacific Foreign Direct Investment in the United States,” focuses on 10 countries and geographic areas that have a large FDI presence in the United States: Australia, China, Hong Kong, India, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea, and Taiwan.

Did you know that Asian–Pacific companies currently employ more than 788,000 U.S. workers? That number is equal to the combined working population of Boston and San Francisco. The jobs are high paying, offering on average $68,000 in annual compensation. These firms spend $4.6 billion annually on research and development in the United States and generate $61 billion in U.S. exports. Our report predicts that Asian–Pacific FDI will increase in the United States during the next 10 years, with China and India likely to be significant contributors to that trend.

Companies invest in America because we represent the largest fully-developed single country economy in the world and because our labor pool is one of the best educated, most productive, and most innovative in the world.  We are a global leader in science and technology and a center for innovation.  We reward creativity and we safeguard it by a strong intellectual property rights protection and enforcement regime.

To learn more about Invest in America, global FDI trends and resources or to obtain a copy of the report, visit the office’s Web site at