Kate Skopp, Director of Global Partnerships & Operations, Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development, Office of International Business Development.
Companies of all sizes and industries from around the world have been able to find a place in Pennsylvania’s business community and reap the benefits of investing in our diverse market. In fact, our state is home to 6,100 foreign-owned companies – businesses that employ more than 330,000 Pennsylvanians across the state.
Pennsylvania has focused on attracting foreign direct investment (FDI) for over two decades, providing quality assistance to foreign companies looking to establish business operations in our state. With nine representatives around the world covering more than 30 countries, we are committed to identifying and working with companies to break down investment barriers.
Certuss participates with Pennsylvania’s Office of International Business Development in the SelectUSA Pavilion, organized by SelectUSA, at Hannover Messe in Hanover, Germany in April 2016. From left: Kate Skopp, PA Office of International Business Development; Holger Deimann, CERTUSS; David Moock, Pennsylvania Authorized Representative office in Germany; Lindsay Helsel, Team Pennsylvania Foundation; Stefan Peikert, Pennsylvania Authorized Representative in Germany.
Over this period of time, we have also learned to listen to what is most important to potential investors. Pennsylvania’s prime location on the U.S. east coast provides easy access to 60 percent of the U.S. and Canadian populations and is supported by six international airports, 65 operating railroads, three major ports and eight foreign trade zones. This led companies from around the world to locate or expand in Pennsylvania recently. Here are a few examples:
- Continuing its long tradition of business in Pennsylvania, Taiwanese company Foxconn has expanded its R&D presence to approx. 50 employees in Harrisburg.
- Chinese manufacturer, Taizhou Fuling Plastics, established its first U.S. manufacturing site in Upper Macungie Township, creating 75 new jobs. Fuling is recognized as the leading exporter of plastic tableware and kitchenware in the world.
- Austrian manufacturer Greiner Packaging established its U.S. headquarters in Pittston, creating 128 new jobs. Greiner produces premium packaging and sustainable items for the food industry.
- Almac Group, Inc., a global contract pharmaceutical development and manufacturing organization from Northern Ireland, is currently expanding its operations at its existing U.S. headquarters in Montgomery County, doubling its physical presence at its location in Lansdale. The company’s expansion will create 312 new jobs over the next three years.
Today, Pennsylvania’s Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) houses the Office of International Business Development (OIBD), which is responsible for offering customized services to help international companies looking to locate or expand in our state find the resources they need. OIBD works in collaboration with a team of global investment representatives around the world, regional and local government organizations, industry associations, and many more partners to engage international companies in Pennsylvania’s business community.
One such partner is SelectUSA. OIBD has partnered with SelectUSA at a number of international events to extend its outreach in targeted markets, capitalizing on these collaborative events to engage international companies in doing business in the Keystone State. This past year, OIBD participated with SelectUSA at three events – Hannover Messe, the SelectUSA Investment Summit in Washington D.C., and SelectUSA Canada in Montreal, Canada. At each of these events, OIBD was able to meet with over 50 interested companies. OIBD and its network of international representatives will continue to participate in upcoming SelectUSA events in Washington D.C., Italy, and India over the next few months.
And these events often lead to tangible successes.
For example, Certuss, a German steam generator manufacturer, first met with OIBD at Hannover Messe 2014 at the SelectUSA pavilion. After several discussions and meetings, the company ultimately made the decision to locate to Pennsylvania to establish its commercial activities for North America. Today, Certuss is using the resources available from OIBD and other local partners to capture the potential for growing in the U.S. market.
From business diversity to competitive business advantages, we are proud that Pennsylvania provides abundant opportunities for companies from around the world and in all industries to succeed in the United States. We look forward to what 2017 has in store.
For more information on FDI in Pennsylvania, contact OIBD’s Executive Director for International Investment, Mr. David Briel at: email@example.com or 717-720-7373.