Foreign Direct Investment is Important to Economic Prosperity

At this year’s International Economic Development Council Annual Conference in Charlotte, NC, the role of foreign direct investment (FDI) as an enabler of success for the U.S. economy was front and center in a number of break-out presentations and private discussions I had with experts on the subject. One great source of information was the executives from FDI Intelligence who were attending the meeting.

This post shares some of the data I found most interesting on U.S. FDI inflow.

  • Over the time period of January 2003 to June 2011, FDI is estimated to have accounted for the creation of 903,165 jobs.
  • The United Kingdom has been the highest investor into the U.S. based on the number of projects. Germany and Japan rank #2 and #3 respectively.
  • Over the time period of 2007 to 2010, California, New York and Texas have been the most popular states for FDI project investment. My home state of Ohio ranked #9.
  • FDI investment in the U.S. has been across a wide range of industries. But, the Software and IT Services industry accounted for the greatest number of deals, indexing 163 versus Industrial Machinery Equipment and Tools (the #2 ranked industry).
  • Toyota, Regus, HSBC, and Honda are the top 4 countries investing in the U.S. based on number of projects.
  • FDI Benchmark data indicate Texas has the most attractive general business climate followed by California. I found this ranking very interesting given other published ranking reports. Industrial specialization, R&D capabilities, experienced labor pool, and competitive labor costs are the factors that contributed to California being #1 according to the Report.

If you are interested in better understanding how your state ranks versus other states on FDI inflow, FDI Intelligence has graciously provided the Strengthening Brand America Project a data set you can view. I’ve included contact information below the data table if you want to get a more detailed analysis of your state’s relative competitiveness.

What Are Your Thoughts?

What role do you see FDI playing in determining the economic prosperity of your state?  Your community?  Do you feel an adequate plan is in place to attract FDI to your location?  If yes, what are you doing that seems to be working well?

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