Posts Tagged ‘SelectUSA’

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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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Pennsylvania Offers Experience, Knowledge & Diversity to International Companies

December 29, 2016

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.

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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: dbriel@pa.gov or 717-720-7373.

 

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SEDC: Taking a Regional Approach to Promoting FDI

December 27, 2016

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

Guest blog post by Gene Stinson, President, Southern Economic Development Council

As the membership association for more than 1,000 economic development professionals across 17 southern states, the Southern Economic Development Council (SEDC) enthusiastically aids its members seeking foreign direct investment (FDI) in their communities. SEDC members include statewide, city, town and county economic development organizations (EDOs) and agencies, representing the vast diversity in geography, transportation infrastructure, workforce assets, municipal incentives and public-private partnerships available in the southern United States.

Building awareness of FDI is central to SEDC’s mission to provide members with the information and resources that help them increase economic development in their communities. However, while many members have succeeded in attracting FDI, others have not had access to the tools and information needed to draw investment. This year, we worked hard on changing that – here’s how.

In April, SEDC launched AmericanSouth.net, an initiative to highlight the many benefits of the region to international investors. The program has a twofold objective: to demonstrate “best FDI attraction practices” to all SEDC members; and to offer direct opportunities for members to develop leads that can bring FDI to their areas.

Today, in concert with our regular newsletter, SEDC News, we provide articles, directions to resources, and other information through AmericanSouth.net. We also plan to take advantage of our location in Atlanta – where several international chambers of commerce and foreign consulates have offices – by hosting an International Site Location Advisors Summit to help members build relationships with these organizations and increase contacts with FDI site location influencers.

Moving forward, we will continue building out the capability of AmericanSouth.net not only to position the region as a top destination for FDI but also to provide an additional way for international companies get in touch with our member EDOs. To help advance the initiative, SEDC is forming an advisory board of international investment specialists from EDOs, SelectUSA, the Organization for International Investment (OFII), site location consulting firms, and more. The board will guide SEDC’s FDI programing and develop educational content for its members.

Throughout our development, SelectUSA has been a valuable partner, particularly in helping us prepare for our first venture to Hannover Messe 2016, the world’s largest industrial technology trade show. Conference calls, connections to international investors, and follow-up personal calls – organized by SelectUSA – maximized our exposure in the Investment Pavilion. AmericanSouth.net made its debut at the pavilion and drew several hundred international business and industry representatives to our booth.   Next year, SEDC will again participate in the SelectUSA Investment Summit in June and join the U.S. delegation to Hannover Messe in April. We are also exploring new opportunities, including the possibility of organizing an AmericanSouth road show with SelectUSA.

SEDC’s development of AmericanSouth.net and our exciting ambitions for 2017 mark a new high point in our association’s efforts on behalf of its members. FDI is an under-explored frontier for many communities and a resource many others can expand upon. We are excited about continuing to position the American South as the global destination of choice for business.

 To learn more about SEDC, please visit www.sedc.org and follow @SEDCouncil on Twitter.  

 

 

 

 

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Spotlight on Commerce: Karen Garcia, Special Advisor to the Executive Director of SelectUSA

October 4, 2016
Spotlight

Karen Garcia, Special Advisor to the Executive Director of SelectUSA

This post originally appeared on the Department of Commerce blog.

As Special Advisor to the Executive Director of SelectUSA, I advise the Executive Director on a range of policy and operational processes that allow us to use the convening power of the U.S. government to showcase this nation as the prime location for investment and ultimately job creation.

I was born and raised in Colorado to parents who arrived from Mexico in search of their very own American dream. Inspired by my parents, one thing was engrained in me, dedicate completely to education – as it is the only way to achieve not only a better life, but also a gratifying career. After a few years, I became the first person in my family to graduate from high school and go to college. Once at the University of Colorado in Boulder I decided to major in International Affairs and Italian, where I submerged myself in international issues I observed while in Mexico. I subsequently obtained my Master’s Degree in Ethics, Peace, and Global Affairs at American University, where my desire to work in the public sector only strengthened.

Through my educational and professional career, I’ve received immense support from a number of successful Hispanic Americans and organizations such as the Hispanic Association for Colleges and Universities who have all contributed to who and where I am now. As I meet younger generations of Hispanic Americans interested in my field, I encourage them to be active and grow their social capital by: engaging in the issues important to them and their communities; seek out the volunteer and professional opportunities available throughout the country and abroad; and more importantly to work hard and zealously at everything they do.

As the Hispanic Heritage Month continues, I cannot help but think of a quote by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, my favorite author: “It is not true that people stop pursuing dreams because they grow old, they grow old because they stop pursuing dreams.” As a Mexican American connected to her roots, I see and hear the hundreds of thousands of dreams alive in the Hispanic American community and I hope I can assist in keep the dreams alive and the dreamers young.

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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.