Posts Tagged ‘SelectUSA Investment Summit’

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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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Questor Technology: A Success Story

January 5, 2017

Audrey Mascarenhas is President and CEO of Calgary-based Questor Technology Inc.

Questor is a clean technology company whose core commercial business is providing high efficiency waste gas incineration.  Energy efficiency is a key benefit with Questor and this has resulted in additional technology offerings such as waste heat to power and waste water vaporization. As Questor continues to provide solutions that eliminate toxic gases and result in cleaner air, these new technologies that utilize excess heat will lower costs and increase site efficiencies for Questor’s customers. In an ever-changing regulatory landscape, Questor provides its clients with peace of mind with best in class performance, innovative solutions and cost cutting technologies that deliver compliance and social license.

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Audrey Mascarenhas

When Audrey reflects on her company’s increasingly successful expansion into the United States, she notes that her introduction to SelectUSA by CS Calgary and subsequent participation in the Canada delegation to the 2015 SelectUSA Summit were key accelerators for Questor’s rapid and successful expansion into the United States. “During the 2015 Summit, Ambassador Bruce Heyman introduced me to Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper; the governor subsequently connected me to his economic development and regulatory teams. I decided to stake a claim in Colorado for the expansion of Questor. The U.S. Foreign Commercial Service team in Calgary and their colleagues in Washington continue to partner with Questor as we expand into new U.S. markets.”

Not one to sit still, Audrey also made similar connections with that state’s economic leaders during the 2015 Summit, recognizing opportunities for establishing fabrication and operations centers in Florida.

Today, Questor employs approximately 25 people in Alberta and Colorado and 3 in Florida.

The SelectUSA Investment Summit will be held June 18-20, 2017. This is the highest-profile event dedicated to promoting foreign direct investment (FDI) in the United States. This signature event provides an unparalleled opportunity to bring together companies from all over the world, economic development organizations from every corner of the nation, and other parties working to facilitate business investment in the United States. For more information on this years event, please visit us on the web.

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SelectUSA Investment Summit Spotlight: The SelectUSA Academy

June 20, 2016

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

This post originally appeared on the Department of Commerce blog.

By Vinai Thummalapally, SelectUSA Executive Director

Photo of Participants at the SelectUSA Academy at the 2016 SelectUSA Summit

Photo of Participants at the SelectUSA Academy at the 2016 SelectUSA Summit

At SelectUSA, we value the input of our clients and work hard to serve them better. A few months ago, we put out a call for topics to include in the second SelectUSA Academy. We wanted to keep the content fresh and make sure new viewpoints were included in the program, and we weren’t disappointed. We received dozens of submissions, all with great ideas and valuable advice for investors and economic developers.

That collaboration came to fruition yesterday. With many speakers volunteering their time on Father’s Day, we presented the SelectUSA Academy, a practical pre-Summit orientation designed for first-time investors and U.S. economic developers.  Participants had the chance to get a jumpstart on the week and take full advantage of their time at the 2016 SelectUSA Investment Summit, where representatives of international companies, state and local governments, and economic development organizations (EDOs) are converging today.

The SelectUSA Academy program offered two dedicated tracks: Investor and EDO. For representatives of companies looking to establish operations in the United States, the Investor Track provided concrete tips on a range of subjects. The sessions focused on understanding the U.S. regulatory environment, tapping into resources and networks, and building a successful investment strategy. Participants were treated to closing remarks by a special high-level guest, Governor Butch Otter, from the State of Idaho.

Similarly, participants in the EDO Track gained insight into the inward investment promotion process, including strategies for marketing and pitching their locations effectively. Speakers focused on nurturing a healthy new business pipeline by identifying and converting quality leads.

This year’s Academy was filled to capacity, so if you are interested in participating, sign up for our email list to be the first to learn about future sessions.  And if you missed the Academy, don’t worry – we have plenty more for you over the next couple of days. I hope you will also join us online today and tomorrow to watch the livestream of the SelectUSA Summit plenary sessions.

On Monday, June 20, Secretary Penny Pritzker will kick off the proceedings, welcoming more than 2,400 participants from every corner of the United States and 70 foreign markets. Speakers include business leaders from companies like ABB, Lockheed Martin, McKinsey & Company, Rolls-Royce, EY, Wanxiang, Teva Pharmaceutical Industries, and TOTO.

Georgia Governor Nathan Deal and Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe will take the stage, along with U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez, and Mr. Jeffrey Zients, Director of the National Economic Council. And of course, you’ll want to catch the keynote address by President Barack Obama at lunchtime.

On Tuesday, June 21, we will hear from Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew; Ambassador Michael Froman, U.S. Trade Representative; Congressman Steny Hoyer; and Secretary of State John Kerry. Check out the agenda, and we hope to see you at the Summit or online!

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SelectUSA’s Japan Road Show Highlights the Strong U.S.-Japan Economic Partnership

March 4, 2016

This post contains external links. Please review our external linking policy.  This is a guest blog by Vinai Thummalapally, Executive Director of SelectUSA.

Last month, I had the privilege of attending the SelectUSA Japan Road Show. My colleagues and I traveled to Tokyo, Nagoya, Osaka, and Fukuoka, meeting with investors and promoting the United States as the best place in the world to do business every step of the way. I saw firsthand the excitement and enthusiasm that Japanese business leaders and investors had for U.S. investment opportunities.

MOI signing ceremony

SelectUSA’s Thummalapally, JETRO Executive VP Tatsuhiro Shindo, Ambassador Caroline Kennedy and JETRO Chairman Hiroyuki Ishige at the MOI signing ceremony.

The United States and Japan have one of the strongest economic and trade partnerships in the world. In fact, Japan is the second largest source of foreign direct investment (FDI) in the United States with more than $374.7 billion in FDI stock (nearly 13 percent of the total in 2014). In 2013 alone, Japan-sourced FDI contributed more to U.S. goods exports and research and development (R&D) spending than any other market. To be exact, Japanese FDI accounted for $69.3 billion of U.S. goods exports and more than $7.5 billion of R&D spending.

At the signing ceremony of the SelectUSA-Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Memorandum of Intent (MOI), both Ambassador Caroline Kennedy and JETRO Chairman and CEO Hiroyuki Ishige noted that in order to invigorate bilateral investment between the United States and Japan across industry sectors, it is necessary for Japanese small and medium enterprises to proactively take advantage of new and emerging business opportunities in the United States. Under the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), these opportunities would increase.

This sentiment was reflected throughout the rest of my trip as we traveled south signing two additional MOIs with the Tokyo Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Osaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry along the way. Enhancing the strong bilateral investment relationship between our two nations is a priority of SelectUSA. We put that priority into action as we engaged with more than 500 Road Show participants, briefing them on the benefits and opportunities of investing in the United States. Nineteen U.S. economic development organizations (EDOs) were featured during the Road Show. Their representatives were met with heightened attention and questions from investors curious about their regions.

I am excited and heartened by this visit to Japan because of the renewed energy and spirit that defines the U.S.-Japan commercial relationship. Thanks to all of our partners in Japan for contributing so much to our continued partnership! SelectUSA, housed within the International Trade Administration, is dedicated to promoting FDI into the United States by working with foreign firms and U.S. EDOs. The upcoming 2016 SelectUSA Investment Summit will provide the perfect opportunities to forge new and deeper economic partnerships from around the world when we convene in June.

 

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New Report: Global FDI Flows Show Continued Confidence in U.S. Economy

March 3, 2016

Felicia Pullam is the Director of Outreach for SelectUSA.

Foreign direct investment (FDI) is tremendously important to the American economy. The U.S. affiliates of foreign companies are responsible for roughly 12 million jobs in the United States, and they spent $53 billion on U.S. research and development and exported $360 billion worth of U.S. goods in 2013 alone. New data from the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) on global FDI shows that the United States remains the leading destination for investment. The long-term outlook inherent in FDI decisions means that confidence in our economy continued to grow.

SelectUSA 2016 Investment Summit

            SelectUSA 2016 Investment Summit

UNCTAD recently published its Global Investment Trends Monitor Report on 2015 FDI flows, which analyzes FDI flows between countries and regions. The report reveals that flows into the United States increased to $384 billion, more than any other country and a record high.

Worldwide, FDI flows recovered “unexpectedly” strongly in 2015, increasing 36 percent to an estimated $1.7 trillion – the highest level since the recession. The report notes that this growth can be attributed to a surge in mergers and acquisitions (M&As), as well as corporate reconfigurations. Internationally, greenfield investment was relatively flat, with 0.9 percent growth.

FDI flows, however, are notoriously volatile. A handful of deals – or even just one large investment – can swing annual flows dramatically. For this reason, our team at SelectUSA relies primarily on “stock” or “position” data – the total cumulative amount of FDI – to understand FDI trends. Nonetheless, the overall patterns of FDI flow and long-term trends in these flows can be instructive.

For example, the report highlights the reversal of a trend in global investment flows in 2015. Between 2012 and 2014, developing countries received a larger share of FDI inflows than their developed counterparts. In 2015, FDI inflows to developed economies grew to their second highest level ever ($936 billion), or 55 percent of all FDI, driven by flows to the European Union and the United States. FDI inflows to developing economies increased just 5 percent last year to $741 billion.

Last year also marks the ninth time in ten years that the United States recorded more FDI inflow than any other country. Combined with the fact that the United States is home to the largest amount – by far – of FDI stock, it is clear that investors have been consistently confident in the quality of the investment environment and opportunities in the United States.

That’s not a surprise: we hear from companies all the time about why they chose to invest here, and international executives ranked the United States at the top of A.T. Kearney’s FDI Confidence Index for the third year running.  Business leaders know that success in the U.S. market can help drive global success. The United States is not only home to the largest and most attractive consumer market, it also thrives through a culture of innovation and a workforce that is among the world’s most productive. Companies of all sizes – from start-ups to multinationals – can find the ideas, resources, and market they need to be competitive.

SelectUSA will hold the 2016 Investment Summit on June 19-21 in Washington, D.C. to showcase investment opportunities from every corner of our country to investors from 70 countries. Participants can learn more about how, where, and why to invest in the United States from high-profile executives, senior officials, and economic developers. Visit SelectUSASummit.us to learn more and register today.

About SelectUSA: Housed within the U.S. Department of Commerce, SelectUSA promotes and facilitates business investment into the United States by coordinating related federal government agencies to serve as a single point of contact for investors. SelectUSA assists U.S. economic development organizations to compete globally for investment by providing information, a platform for international marketing, and high-level advocacy. SelectUSA also helps investors find the information they need to make decisions; connect to the right people at the local level; navigate the U.S. federal regulatory system; and find solutions to issues related to the U.S. federal government.

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2015 SelectUSA Investment Summit is Now Open for Business

January 8, 2015

This post originally appeared on the Department of Commerce blog.
This post contains external links. Please review our external linking policy.

Guest blog post by Secretary Penny Pritzker 

SelectUSA Investment Summit Washington, DC March 23-24, 2015In my first year as Secretary, one of my proudest moments was welcoming international investors to the 2013 SelectUSA Investment Summit. Alongside President Obama, Secretary of State John Kerry, Treasury Secretary Jack Lew, Labor Secretary Thomas Perez, and U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman, we made it clear that America is “Open for Business.”

As 2015 begins, we are moving full speed ahead with registration for the second SelectUSA Investment Summit, which will take place in the DC metro area on March 23-24, 2015.

In November, the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) released new data showing why efforts to attract international investment are so important. U.S. affiliates of foreign firms employed 5.8 million people in the United States in 2012. These companies spent $48 billion on U.S. research and development, and they exported nearly $344 billion worth of goods manufactured in the United States. In 2013, the United States attracted $231 billion in FDI, up from $170 billion in 2012.

There has never been a better time to consider establishing or expanding operations in the United States, and it is clear that investors recognize the opportunities that America offers.  We are home to an attractive consumer market, a thriving culture of innovation, and a talented workforce.  The U.S. economic recovery is outshining others, and investors are increasingly confident.  In fact, A.T. Kearney’s 2014 Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) Confidence Index said, “the United States tops the index for the second year in a row,” with the highest net positive rating in the index’s 16-year history.

The 2015 SelectUSA Investment Summit aims to build on the tremendous success of the inaugural event, which connected investors from 60 countries with representatives from nearly every U.S. state and territory.  At this year’s Summit, economic development organizations (EDOs) from across the United States will once again gather to showcase investment opportunities to companies from around the world. This event will bring together the tools, information, and connections companies need to grow their business here. The two-day summit will include many sessions with high-profile CEOs, breakout panels with practical tools for investors, one-on-one matchmaking meetings, and pitches on the trade show floor.

Given the incredible interest in the first event, we are doubling the size of the Summit and adding some new features, including a pre-Summit SelectUSA Academy that will cover the basics for first-time investors and the fundamentals of attracting FDI for economic developers.  We are also including sessions on rural investment, infrastructure investment, and other new features like robust online matchmaking and a more expansive trade show floor.

U.S. economic development organizations and companies that are interested in establishing operations in the United States – including reshoring and foreign investment – can learn more at the SelectUSA Summit website.

The SelectUSA team stands by to assist with investments at any time.  Learn more about their services at www.SelectUSA.gov.

SelectUSA is the U.S. government-wide program, housed within the U.S. Department of Commerce, to facilitate investment into the United States.

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America is Open for Investment

January 22, 2014

Vinai Thummalapally is the Executive Director of the SelectUSA Program. This post originally appeared on the Department of Commerce blog. 

Ambassador Vinai Thummalapally is the Executive Director of the SelectUSA Program.

Ambassador Vinai Thummalapally is the Executive Director of the SelectUSA Program.

In 2011, President Obama launched SelectUSA, the first-ever U.S. government-wide initiative to attract foreign direct investment (FDI) in the United States, with the hopes that the Department of Commerce would help facilitate both foreign and domestic business relationships and make FDI a diplomatic and foreign policy priority.

We took an enormous step forward three months ago, when the Commerce Department hosted the first-ever SelectUSA Investment Summit in Washington, DC. The summit was such a success that it sold out, and more than 1,300 business and government leaders from nearly 60 countries and economic development organizations from 48 states, the District of Columbia and three territories gathered to learn about the advantages of doing business in the United States and to explore investment opportunities. Perhaps most importantly, the Summit helped match potential investors with economic development organizations to help revitalize American communities and create new job opportunities.

Thankfully, we can continue to build upon the success of the Summit, now that the budget deal has been approved.  The agreement will allow up to $7 million to expand and enhance the program, and we at the Commerce Department are pleased to have this extra support to bring more companies to our shores.

In fact, the U.S. has welcomed investment to our shores for centuries. Our market has provided long-term stability and unmatched returns for investors. Today, the United States is the largest recipient of FDI in the world, and in 2012 alone, more than $160 billion dollars of FDI flowed here. Total foreign stock and assets are measured not in billions, but in the trillions of dollars. Clearly, FDI is an important contributor to our economy.

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But don’t take my word for it – SelectUSA has already helped bring jobs to the U.S. and foster many business relationships, both foreign and domestic.

For example, the Southern Idaho Economic Development Organization (SIEDO) approached SelectUSA for assistance as they worked with Frulact, a Portugal-based producer of fruit-based ingredients for food. SelectUSA advised SIEDO on the issues that would be critical for the company to consider, while also connecting them directly with our team on the ground in Portugal. After utilizing our advice, SIEDO and Frulact announced plans in October for a state-of-the-art 200,000 square foot facility in Rupert, Idaho, that is expected to employ at least 100 people.

We’re hearing plenty more success stories like this, and the SelectUSA program has proven to be a great “bang for the buck.”

We’re excited to continue enhancing SelectUSA with more congressional funding, and the Department of Commerce is ready to do all it can to connect investors with communities…and to open all avenues to guarantee that American is Open for Business.

After all, as President Obama said in his keynote address at the summit a few months ago, “When you bet on America, that bet pays off.”