Posts Tagged ‘SelectUSA’

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America Welcomes the World’s Business

November 12, 2019

By Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross

America is where the world does business. It is not difficult to see why: companies expanding here will find a culture of innovation, dedication to hard work, and a high quality of life. From its inception. it has been the job of SelectUSA to encourage companies to benefit from these unmatched and unparalleled advantages the U.S. has to offer.

More formally put, the mission of SelectUSA is to facilitate job-creating business investment into the United States and raise awareness of the critical role that economic development plays in the U.S. economy. One of the primary avenues where this mission is accomplished is through the annual SelectUSA Investment Summit.

Today, I am pleased to announce that registration is open for the 2020 SelectUSA Investment Summit — where companies looking to invest in the United States can learn the skills and make the connections to fuel their business’ growth in America. In 2020, the Investment Summit will take place June 1-3, at the Washington Hilton, in Washington, D.C.

Year after year, the Investment Summit buzzes with energy, creating an environment of entrepreneurship, excitement, and potential. Thousands of people from all over the world come here to gain insight into the business environment, learn of industry trends, and bring business deals to fruition. International delegates connect with economic development organizations (EDOs), all of whom can showcase the unique resources of their states and towns, while service providers exhibit the variety of assistance they can offer to expanding companies.

SWR Ivanka Barbara Humpton -SUSA 2019 registration 1101219

The 2019 SelectUSA Investment Summit welcomed more than 3,100 attendees, including global business leaders, U.S. economic development professionals, and leaders from the top of the U.S. government. Pictured here are Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, Advisor to the President Ivanka Trump, and Siemens USA CEO Barbara Humpton.

Additionally, our Academy sessions demystify the process of investing in the United States. Topics range from understanding how to finance a startup company to navigating the U.S. visa process. These sessions are planned with our attendees’ interests in mind, as we accept proposals for topics and speakers to include on the agenda.

The 2019 Investment Summit was the most successful to date, where more than 1,200 international delegates connected with nearly 800 EDO representatives and 300 service providers from nearly every state and territory in the U.S. The Investment Summit has directly impacted more than $32.5 billion in U.S. investment projects supporting more than 38,400 U.S. jobs. At the recent 2019 Investment Summit, four investment announcements were made with a value of nearly $100 million, which will in turn create new jobs for American workers. We hope to build upon these successes.

In 2020, we are excited to help you and your company reach its full potential in the United States at the SelectUSA Investment Summit.

I hope to see you there.

Click here to apply.

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Business Incentives Continue to Play a Key Role in U.S. FDI Leadership

September 17, 2019

SelectUSA is a program led by the U.S. Department of Commerce that facilitates and promotes job-creating business investment into the United States

Global companies are drawn to the United States for many reasons: a highly productive and educated workforce, low-cost supply of energy, direct access to the world’s most robust capital markets, and mucmoreBut how much of our nation’s continued success in this arena should be attributed to incentives given to businesses by state and local governments? They receive a great deal of attention, but how much do companies actually consider incentives when determining where to invest?

Business executives are quite forthcoming with answers to the question. Many of the companies that SelectUSA has assisted have made it clear: incentives are a very important consideration, but not the most important one. Companies consider a mix of variables and factors: costs, location, supply chains, ease of doing business, etc. Consistently, the United States stands out as the best place to do business.SelectUSA_FullColor-hires_575 (002)

The United States has topped the A.T. Kearney FDI Confidence Index seven years in a row. The Index, a survey of global CEOs’ confidence in the world’s markets, highlights the top factors considered in business expansion and how markets stack up. In 2019, pro-business regulations, competitive tax rates, and economic expansion helped lead to another year of U.S. leadership in international investment. But economic incentives were also ranked among the top of the list of considerations.

State and local governments create incentives packages for companies in order to attract investment and create job opportunities in their local areas. Often given on the basis of job creation or economic impact, incentives can include grants, loans, tax and job training subsidies. These incentive packages can sometimes total in the millions or billions of dollars, but their size is contingent on the magnitude of the proposed business project. The federal government also offers a wide array of incentives, from clean energy production tax credits to export credit insurance for small businesses.

The investment process itself can seem complicated, and many companies don’t know where to start. Luckily SelectUSA is here to help companies navigate the process and connect with the right resources and incentives at the local level. Visit selectusa.gov to learn more. The United States is open for your business.

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BEA’s New FDI Numbers Point to Sustained Economic Growth for the USA

August 23, 2019

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

Audrey Cheng is an intern for SelectUSA

Graphic stating: FDI IN THE USA, $4.34 TRILLION, 7.1 MILLION U.S. JOBS DIRECTLY SUPPORTEDThe data is in: the United States Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) released the most recent numbers for global foreign direct investment (FDI) into the United States, and they’re good news for the country’s continued prosperity. Total stock of FDI in the United States reached $4.34 trillion in value in 2018. This is an incredible $319.1 billion increase from 2017, when we had just surpassed $4 trillion in FDI.

Here is a breakdown:

  • The largest increases were in the industries of manufacturing, retail trade, and real estate.
  • Manufacturing accounted for 40.8 percent of the total FDI value in the United States, followed by 12.1 percent in finance and insurance.
  • Based on the country of the ultimate beneficial owner, five countries accounted for more than half of all the FDI in the United States. These countries aren’t just top sources of FDI – they represent the strongest economic relationships in the world. In order, they are: The United Kingdom, Canada, Japan, Germany, and Ireland.
  • Majority foreign-owned companies in the United States earned income of $208.1 billion on their cumulative investment in the United States. This is nearly 20 percent higher than in 2017.

To all of us at SelectUSA, this increase in investment is an assuring pat on the back but not a surprise. It reinforces what we know: America is the premier destination in the world for FDI.

As we look back at the BEA numbers of the past fiscal year, we are also looking toward a positive future. The 2019 A.T. Kearney Confidence Index ranked the United States as the nation likely to receive the most FDI in the coming three years. The World Bank’s Doing Business 2019 named us among the top nations globally for the ease of doing business—and number one among countries with populations more than 100 million.

This shows that the United States is doing all the right things to give companies the opportunities they need to be competitive. Businesses of all sizes have recognized that our huge consumer base, productive workforce, and pro-business policies here are unparalleled anywhere else in the world.

The U.S. economy is thriving and the continued increase in FDI will create even more career opportunities for hardworking Americans into the future. SelectUSA will continue to make sure that companies have all the resources they need to be successful 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 selectusa.gov and follow @SelectUSA on Twitter.

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Business Potential Met Business Opportunity at the 2019 SelectUSA Investment Summit

June 20, 2019

Brian Lenihan is the Executive Director of SelectUSA

The 2019 SelectUSA Investment Summit is over, but its impact is just beginning. Last week, thousands of people from all over the world converged on the Washington Hilton in Washington, D.C. to turn business potential into business opportunity. So much happened that I think it’s best to start with the numbers:

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Exhibitors from the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina greet attendees from the Indian delegation, June 12, 2019

  • More than 3,100 total attendees joined us, including 1,200 global business representatives from a record 79 international markets and over 700 economic development professionals and service providers from 49 states and territories.
  • Four Cabinet secretaries addressed the Investment Summit: Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross, Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Ben Carson, Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin, and Secretary of Energy Rick Perry – all of whom highlighted how each of their departments is working to keep the United States competitive and open for business.
  • More than 3,200 meetings were scheduled and confirmed through the online matchmaking app, meetings that may form the foundation of several investment deals.
  • Three international companies announced U.S. expansions, representing more than 125 new jobs and several million dollars in greenfield foreign direct investment (FDI) in Idaho, Ohio, and Colorado.
  • The Governor of Mississippi announced a $59 million investment by a California-based aerospace company in the Magnolia State.

Beyond the informative sessions, exciting news was made. Ivanka Trump, joined onstage by Secretary Wilbur Ross and Siemens USA CEO Barbara Humpton, announced that more than 65 global companies had committed to creating over 930,000 apprenticeship and training opportunities for U.S. workers as part of the White House’s Pledge to American Workers. “This is not only the right thing to do … it’s good business,” Trump said. “There is a positive return on investment for this continual investment in what is the best workforce in the world.”

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Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross moderates a fireside chat on workforce development with Advisor to the President Ivanka Trump and Siemens USA CEO Barbara Humpton, June 12, 2019

The SelectUSA Tech Startup Investment Spotlight was an exciting first for us, an intensive program of pitching sessions and networking designed to connect early-stage startups with U.S. investment opportunities. Forty companies made their pitch to U.S. incubators and accelerators, all with the goal of breaking into the world’s largest market. Three companies were chosen, all winning hours of legal consultations and media training by law firm Green & Spiegel and a business accelerator program in Silicon Valley. The winning companies are: Spanish artificial intelligence platform company Moonshot, Hungarian container manufacturing company Continest, and Israeli food-tech company DouxMatok.

Another first at the Investment Summit was Industry Row, where associations not only had the opportunity to exhibit and network with attendees, but to also present a 30-minute “State of the Industry” presentation for investors and EDOs alike.

Four different companies made news for another reason: investment projects valued at almost $100 million were announced in four states. Italian manufacturer Modula will invest $26 million in Franklin, Ohio to establish operations and create 100 jobs. Taiwan-based dairy product manufacturer Jetton Biochemistry Co., Ltd. chose Nampa, Idaho as the location of its next plant, a $2 million project that will create 25 jobs. Australian freight company MyFreight announced that it would invest $500,000 to establish operations in Denver, Colorado, part of an effort to duplicate its $40-million success from Down Under to the United States. Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant announced that California-based aerospace company Relativity Space will invest $59 million and create nearly 200 jobs at NASA’s Stennis Space Center in Hancock, Mississippi.

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Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross and Advisor to the President Ivanka Trump join more than 65 global companies to sign the Pledge to America’s Workers, June 12, 2019

It was an honor (and a thrill) to experience this international excitement firsthand. SelectUSA is the embodiment of the U.S. government’s commitment to creating an open, welcoming, and competitive business environment. It’s a program whose core mission is to promote job-creating FDI. The SelectUSA Investment Summit continuously delivers on that mission.

As I look back on another successful Investment Summit, I look forward to the American jobs that will be created as a result. To the world’s business investors, I say: The United States is open for your business, and SelectUSA is here to make sure you have the information and resources needed to invest and succeed here. To America’s hard-working economic developers, I say: Thank you for consistently—and expertly—driving investment into the United States – SelectUSA is here to assist you.

Thank you.

Learn more about SelectUSA and its services by visiting www.selectusa.gov. Stay in the SelectUSA know by signing up for email updates and following @SelectUSA on Twitter.

 

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US Senators Manchin and Capito Invite Global Business Leaders to Attend SelectUSA Investment Summit and Discover Why West Virginia is the Right Choice for Global Companies

June 7, 2019

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

Sara B. Dearing is the Executive Director of Discover the Real West Virginia Foundation

West Virginia is the premier location for global companies to expand and relocate. Companies that come to West Virginia are met with a thriving business climate, a dedicated and technically-trained workforce, low cost of doing business, an abundant and inexpensive supply of energy – and unending support from our local, state and federal leaders. manchin-capito_play-button

West Virginia’s U.S. senators not only play a hands-on role when it comes to attracting investment, they are dedicated to ensuring that companies that do invest in West Virginia, succeed.  This unwavering commitment to helping global companies find a home in the Mountain State is why Senators Joe Manchin and Shelley Moore Capito have teamed up to invite global executives to attend the SelectUSA Investment Summit and to join them at the West Virginia Booth (#714) for the State and Local Night Reception on June 11. Additionally, our senators invite business leaders to attend the West Virginia Spinoff Event, June 13-14, in Wheeling, West Virginia.

Here’s just a few reasons for global executives to choose West Virginia:

  • West Virginia is home to 136 global companies (including Toyota, Gestamp, Covestro, Novartis, TransCanada, Sogefi, Safran, and more) representing 30 countries from around the world with a diverse manufacturing base of industries including aerospace, automotive, chemical and polymers, energy, defense, and information technology, to name a few.
  • West Virginia has the strategic advantage of being in a region with the most cost-effective and abundant natural gas in the industrialized world. This region is right in the middle of half the U.S. market, and close to over two-thirds of U.S. polyethylene consumption.
  • West Virginia (located in Shale Crescent USA) is the most profitable place to locate petrochemical and other manufacturing plants. In fact, Yahoo Finance, the US Department of Energy, oilprice.com and others are calling this region “a second U.S. Petrochemical Hub”.
  • According to the American Chemistry Council, the Appalachian Region is uniquely positioned over the next decade to become a major petrochemical hub with the potential to attract $36 billion in new chemical and plastics industry investment.

It’s not just the aesthetic beauty of the state and its abundant natural resources that make West Virginia a great place to do business.  Deep down, it’s the people that make West Virginia a world-class location, and a state dedicated to providing the resources to elevate your company to the next level. Please come and meet our team, including Senators Manchin and Capito, at the SelectUSA Investment Summit, then join us in Wheeling for our spinoff event, and let’s get down to business.

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The 2019 SelectUSA Investment Summit: Ivanka Trump, Larry Kudlow, Tech Startups & More

June 6, 2019

Brian Lenihan is the Executive Director of SelectUSA

The SelectUSA Investment Summit brings global companies together with economic developers from across the United States, all for one purpose – to connect global business to local investment opportunities. I am honored and thrilled to say that this year’s Investment Summit will feature special guests from the White House. Advisor to the President Ivanka Trump and National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow will provide keynote remarks to more than 3,000 attendees on June 11-12. Both will focus on how business investment and SelectUSA play key roles in America’s economic resurgence.susa graphic

Their inclusion in the program is further evidence of the Administration’s dedication to creating a pro-growth business environment where the world’s companies can flourish. It is also further evidence that the 2019 SelectUSA Investment Summit is the premier business investment event in the United States.

Global companies directly support more than seven million U.S. jobs, and SelectUSA is working to increase that number. But we are also dedicated to working with national and international stakeholders to ensure that American workers are equipped with the skills and education needed to succeed in the 21st century. That’s why Ivanka Trump will join Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross and Siemens’ U.S. CEO Barbara Humpton for a panel discussion on workforce development. Later that day, they will join several international business attendees for the signing of the Pledge to America’s Workers, a commitment to expand training and education for the U.S. workforce.

On Monday, the Investment Summit will commence with the Academy, a one-day series of educational panel discussions and presentations designed to get everyone up to speed with the latest trends in foreign direct investment (FDI). These in-depth sessions provide a foundation for attendees, giving them the tools, strategies, and information needed to turn business potential into business opportunity.

The following two days will offer an exciting mix of SelectUSA firsts and mainstage sessions on a wide array of topics: advanced manufacturing, artificial intelligence, workforce development, and more. Executives from Royal Dutch Shell, Siemens, Intel, SoftBank Group, and many more will share their experience and insight. New this year will be several industry-focused discussions between U.S. governors on how their states are working to attract, retain, and grow FDI. Of course, new investments will be announced in the Exhibition Hall as well.

The new features don’t stop there. The first-ever SelectUSA Tech Startup Investment Spotlight will feature dozens of early-stage tech startups eager to jump into the U.S. market. These companies will pitch their products and designs directly to U.S. investors, incubators, accelerators, and economic developers. In other words, it will be a match made in startup heaven.

The involvement of Ivanka Trump and Larry Kudlow and the addition of SelectUSA Tech promise to make this Investment Summit an incredible success. If you are unable to attend this year, I invite you to watch the livestream at SelectUSA.gov/newsroom and follow @SelectUSA on Twitter for on-the-ground updates.

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Building on Success: North Carolina Opens New FDI Office in India

May 22, 2019

Christopher Chung is the Chief Executive Officer of the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina.

When you stop by North Carolina’s Booth 525 at this year’s SelectUSA Investment Summit, you’ll see a new face that expresses our strong commitment to attracting more India-based companies to a state that has been focusing for the past five years on winning Indian investment.

The Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina (EDPNC) recently opened the state’s first foreign direct investment (FDI) office based in India ― dedicated to increasing FDI into North Carolina from one of the world’s fastest-growing economies.

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North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper and Infosys President Ravi Kumar announce in July 2017 that the technology consulting company would be establishing a 2,000-job hub in the Research Triangle region of North Carolina.

Our newest FDI representative ― Rahul Padmanabha ― is based in Bangalore. You can meet him at our booth, as well as representatives traveling to the SelectUSA Investment Summit from all the state’s other overseas FDI offices located in Europe, China, South Korea and Japan.

North Carolina, which opened the Bangalore office late last year, is paying attention to India because its executives certainly have been paying attention to us. According to the Moody Analytics company Bureau van Dijk, from 2014 through 2018:

  • Indian companies announced more than $409 million in capital investment and 4,400 new jobs in North Carolina.
  • North Carolina ranked No. 1 among all states for the number of announced jobs connected to Indian FDI.
  • North Carolina was No. 2 in the Southeast U.S. and No. 3 nationwide for the total capital investment announced by Indian companies.

That’s substantial growth in Indian companies choosing our state. And there’s opportunity to attract more of the same because North Carolina is a national leader in industry sectors that closely align with Indian interests ― including IT, pharmaceuticals, textiles, food processing, automotive and aviation.

In the big area of IT consulting, for example, our central East Coast location and tech talent appeal to global companies that want to nearshore facilities closer to their existing U.S. customers. Another big draw? North Carolina’s business-friendly costs and tax climate – including the lowest corporate income tax rate in the United States at 2.5 percent.

Announcements by India-based companies in recent years have made big headlines in North Carolina, such as information technology giant Infosys choosing Raleigh in 2017 for a 2,000-job innovation and technology hub. Others include IT services company HCL Technologies’ 1,237-job expansion in CaryAurobindo Pharma’s 275-job research and development headquarters in Durham; and technology services firm Zensar’s new customer delivery center, which is expected to create up to 200 new jobs in Durham.

There’s also Glenmark Pharmaceuticals, which announced its first U.S. manufacturing facility in Monroe outside Charlotte in 2014. The $100 million facility currently employs nearly 170 people.

While urban areas have attracted most of North Carolina’s India-source investment, several projects have been announced in our rural communities. For example, AR Textiles, part of the India-based Sunflag group of companies, has a factory in Martin County.  Mumbai-based Mahindra Vehicle Sales and Service chose Henderson County for its North American office headquarters.

As SelectUSA’s former lead for India, Rahul brings to his new North Carolina FDI role a deep understanding of what Indian companies need to succeed in the United States. Visit Booth 525 to find out how North Carolina can meet those needs, or email me directly at cchung@edpnc.com. I’ll be at the SelectUSA Investment Summit as well, and looking forward to connecting.

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USA Spends Seven Years Atop Key Business Index

May 7, 2019

Brian Lenihan is the Executive Director of SelectUSA in the International Trade Adminsitration

Some say that a person needs to hear a fact seven times before they will remember it. It’s called the Rule of 7. Whether it’s fact or fiction, I can’t be the judge. But in my time working at the International Trade Administration, I have come up with a Rule of 7 on my own: If global CEOs agree on something for seven years, everyone should commit it to memory.Graphic

The fact at hand is this: The United States is the best place in the world for global businesses to invest and grow.

That’s what global CEOs have said in A.T. Kearney’s annual FDI Confidence Index. For seven consecutive years, business leaders that are growing their companies around the world have said there is no better place to invest than here in the United States.

In honor of seven years earning the top spot as a business investment destination, here are seven reasons the United States is the best place to do business:

1. Sustained Economic Growth: The United States economy has grown at a greater than 2 percent clip for eight consecutive quarters, including a 3.2 percent growth rate in Q1 2019 that beat market expectations.
2. Powerful Consumer Market: Businesses operating in the United States have direct access to the world’s largest consumer market, as ranked by the World Bank.
3. A Fair Corporate Tax Rate: The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act decreased the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 21 percent, meaning businesses can invest more of their revenues back into their operations.
4. A Simpler Regulatory Environment: The Administration has focused on removing redundant regulations that presented an unnecessary hurdle to doing business.
5. Intellectual Property Protections: Companies and entrepreneurs can innovate in the United States without worry that their intellectual property will be compromised.
6. World-class Productivity: The U.S. workforce is more than 37 percent more productive than the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development average.
7. An Environment for Entrepreneurship: The U.S. legal system provides predictability and freedom from corruption that allows businesses and entrepreneurs to invest with confidence, as reflected by the United States’ number 1 ranking in the Global Entrepreneurship Index.

Thousands of foreign-owned businesses have used these reasons to grow in the United States, and their impact is significant: FDI supports nearly 14 million U.S. jobs.

If you are looking to enter or expand into the U.S. market, the SelectUSA Investment Summit is a must-attend event. The latest FDI Confidence Index underscores the fact that the United States is open for business; the Investment Summit will show how your business can take advantage of the opportunities offered in the world’s largest and most attractive market. I hope you’ll join us this summer.

For more information about the SelectUSA Investment Summit, please visit selectusasummit.us.

 

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Teaming Up for Tech at the 2019 SelectUSA Investment Summit

April 30, 2019

David Steel is the Executive Vice President of Corporate Affairs for Samsung Electronics America, which is an official sponsor of the SelectUSA Investment Summit.

Samsung marked its 40th year in the United States in 2018, an investment that has been nothing short of essential to our company’s success. Not only was it an accomplishment worth celebrating, but it was also the perfect time to reflect on the importance of the U.S. market and the strong ties we have forged with American industry and consumers over the course of four decades.

Since 1978, Samsung’s U.S. family has grown to 20,000 employees across 46 states. Whether investing in manufacturing facilities in South Carolina, cuttingedge startups in California,or expanding our massive semiconductor operation in Texas, Samsung also realizes that in order to tap the true potential of the U.S. market, we must continue to engage on the ground.

That’s why Samsung is excited to be involved in the inaugural SelectUSA Tech program at the SelectUSA Investment Summit, an initiative that aligns with our vision for high-tech manufacturing to propel the U.S. economy and provide high-quality careers for decades to come. The SelectUSA Techprogram connects our global firm with both American consumers and the innovators working to shape the trends and develop the technology that will spur global demand for our products.

To date, Samsung has invested billions of dollars in the U.S. through advanced manufacturing, R&D, and emerging technologies:

  • Over the last 23 years, Samsung has invested $17 billion in manufacturing and R&D at Samsung Austin Semiconductor (SAS) – one of the largest-ever foreign direct investments in the United States.
  • In 2017, Samsung announced a $380 million investment in a new, state-of-the-art home appliance manufacturing facility in Newberry County, SC.
  • Samsung has invested more than $6.6 billion in U.S.-based companies and start-ups across 30 industry sectors, including IoT, AI, VR/AR, smart machines, digital health, security, cloud, and more.

At the center of Samsung’s investment opportunities is thevision for a connected world and the importance of selecting America as a partner to make this happen–recognizing our cultural ties founded upon partnership and innovation. For instance, the growing need to fill STEM-related jobs with qualified professionals pushes us to constantly invest inprograms that will train and inspire the next generation of tech talent and industry leadership. We constantly work to provide the essential tools and access to our technology to encourage, inspire, and support the people and communities we serve.

Our commitment to investment and growth in the U.S. is stronger than ever. Through partnerships with programs like SelectUSA, we are eager to continue doing our part to drive technology leadership and economic growth in the United States, further strengthening the thriving tech industry.

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Mentoring International Success: A Mid-Size Midwestern Municipality’s Mission

February 27, 2019

Kevin D. Malecek is the Director of Economic Development and International Trade for the City of Mentor, Ohio

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.

Mentor, Ohio Means Business logoRecognizing the unique approach of a smaller municipality to engage in global trade and investment conversation, the City of Mentor has successfully conducted several trade-oriented seminars to inform area companies on the benefits of overseas business opportunities, pursued potential partners interested in FDI through annual trade missions to Germany and the United Kingdom, and marketed incentive programs essential to the success of those that would examine opportunities in Mentor. City officials regularly converse with companies, organizations, chambers of commerce, and overseas governments to explore mutually beneficial partnerships.

In particular, the conversations and visits to the United Kingdom resulted in the negotiation and signing of a partnership memorandum with Medilink Midlands, a trade organization supporting more than 300 life sciences companies in the Midlands region of the UK. The Midlands region shares many similarities with Northeast Ohio: the development of a strong life sciences cluster among them, with companies in Mentor like STERIS and SourceOne and medical facilities nearby like the Cleveland Clinic, University Hospitals, and LakeHealth.

The growing “special relationship” between Mentor and Medilink Midlands brought an inbound delegation of Medilink members and their Chairman, Keith Widdowson, to Mentor in October where potential FDI projects were considered. The City of Mentor arranged presentations by the Cleveland Clinic, STERIS, and other essential regional partners to tout the benefits of doing business in Mentor.  As a component of the ongoing relationship, a delegation from Mentor will return to the UK to Medilink’s Med-Tech Expo in May to advance discussions and negotiations. City officials continue to converse with local partners to find linkages with Medilink’s members and encourage local businesses to accompany the City on its trade mission so those companies can find new markets in the UK.

In Mentor’s case, it shows that the population size does not matter – with the right approach, personnel, resources, and initiative, a mid-sized municipality in the Midwest with a mighty economic engine can pursue FDI opportunities anywhere.