February 2011

Welcome to the latest update from Invest in America, the U.S. Department of Commerce’s program to promote foreign direct investment to the United States This monthly update is meant to provide a few quick points highlighting some activities of Invest in America.

Invest in America Outreach

Invest in America will participate in:

  • Investment Opportunities in Aviation Alternative Fuels, a webinar on March 15, 2011, 11am to 12pm EST. Representatives from Invest in America, USDA, the alternative fuels industry, and U.S. airlines will explain recent developments in this industry, as well as a rule change at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) that now makes foreign investors eligible to benefit from USDA programs to support the bio fuel sector.
  • International Economic Development Council’s (IEDC) Federal Economic Forum in Washington, DC – March 20-22, 2011 – IEDC’s 2011 Federal Economic Development Forum will focus on the emerging importance of partnerships in federal economic development policy.
  • The Invest in America “Briefing on Federal Issues for FDI Attraction,” an event for U.S. economic development organizations, will be held on Wednesday, March 23rd (8am to 12:30pm) at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center in Washington, DC (directions). This briefing is purposely timed to follow IEDC’s annual Federal Forum. It will review ongoing and new federal policies and initiatives that affect FDI in the United States. To RSVP, please contact Aaron Brickman at aaron.brickman@trade.gov.
  • The U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA), U.S. Commercial Service (USCS), and Invest in America (IIA) have partnered to lead a U.S. Trade & Investment Program to HANNOVER MESSE 2011, the world’s largest industrial technology showcase, from April 3-8, 2011 in Hannover, Germany. Click here to apply to participate in the U.S. Trade & Investment Program as a community representative. Contact Laura Stierle at 202-482-2681 orlstierle@eda.doc.gov with questions.
  • “USA: Going Green – Opportunities for Italian Investors” seminar in Rome, Italy on April 5, 2011, will focus on current and future investment opportunities in the U.S. clean-tech industry. The event is sponsored by the Italian Trade Commission.
  • The U.S. Departments of Commerce and Treasury, in partnership with the National League of Cities, will hold a U.S.-China Metro Growth Forum in Seattle, Washington on April 19-20, 2011. This event, on the sidelines of NLC’s Leadership Academy on Local Economic Competitiveness in a Global Era, will provide an opportunity for mayors from the U.S. and China to share best-practices on economic development and FDI attraction. A contingent of Chinese enterprises will be on hand to learn about investment opportunities in the U.S. market.
  • SIDO America 2011 Forum in Washington, DC – Wednesday, April 27, 2011
  • “Foreign Direct Investment in the U.S. – How Will It Impact the Future,” a workshop organized by the Industrial Asset Management Council’s Spring 2011 Professional Forum, will be held at the Hyatt Regency Tamayo Resort, Albuquerque, NM, on May 3, 10am to 11am.

Recent Invest in America participation:

  • Invest in America Event: Automotive Sector 2011 in Toronto – February 17 – 18, 2011 – Organized in conjunction with the Canadian International Auto Show (CIAS), the U.S. Foreign Commercial Service office in Toronto designed a customized event for U.S. economic development organizations to learn about FDI attraction opportunities in the Canadian auto sector and network with Canadian automotive companies. The day-long workshop and networking event was highlighted by a roundtable discussion with U.S. Ambassador to Canada David Jacobson, U.S. economic development organizations, and leaders from Canada’s automotive business sectors.

Other Upcoming FDI-Related Events:

  • The Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency (KOTRA) will be holding a Korea Overseas Investment Fair (KOIF) at COEX in Seoul, South Korea on May 19-20, 2011. The event will be an opportunity for economic development organizations to promote themselves as a destination for foreign direct investment to Korean companies in attendance. For more information please email yuhyunju@kotra.or.kr or call +82 2 3460 7358.

Reports of Note

  • The Vale Columbia Center on Sustainable International Investment has published a paper, entitled Outward FDI from Italyand Its Policy Context, which examines historical trends in outbound FDI from Italy. Italian outbound FDI flows remained stable during the global economic crisis, with little divestment out of existing projects. Though Italy’s outbound FDI performance is modest compared to many of its European Union peers, it is unique because almost 90 percent of Italian multinational enterprises (i.e., those that have invested overseas) are small- to medium-sized firms.
  • In a joint report by Battelle and R&D Magazine, researchers project that Global R&D spending, including public, private, and nonprofit spending, will increase by 3.6 percent in 2011, from $1.15 trillion to almost $1.2 trillion. The report, entitled2011 Global R&D Funding Forecast, forecasts that the U.S. will continue to lead the world in R&D spending, accounting for 34 percent of the global total. China is projected to overtake Japan to become the world’s second largest investor in R&D spending. The U.S. and Europe are expected to remain relatively flat in their R&D spending, while China, India, and countries in Asia are expected to realize and increase in their global share of R&D spending. When looking at countries’ R&D spending relative to one another, the U.S. continues to have a significant lead. The U.S. is projected to spend almost as much on R&D as Japan and Europe combined. And when looking at the remaining countries in the world, excluding Japan and Europe but including China and India, the U.S. share of R&D spending is almost 50 percent greater (23 percent compared to 34 percent for the U.S.).
  • InterChina Consulting, a boutique management consultancy, published a report on increased Chinese interest in investing in South America, which may hold clues for U.S. economic development organizations seeking to harness more inbound FDI flows to the U.S. from China. 2011: Booming Overseas Investment from China: Conquering Latin America, and Bringing Home Brands and Technology to the China Market, looks at the unprecedented boom in outbound FDI flows emanating from China during the 2009-2011 time period. According to the report’s authors, Chinese companies are motivated to invest abroad to acquire western technologies so that they can better compete in their own Chinese market. Latin America is expected to receive increasing interest from Chinese investors because it will help diversify Chinese FDI and export flows away from reliance on the U.S. and Europe, while simultaneously entering a market with significant natural resources.


  • Inquiries to date in 2011: 36
  • Ombudsman cases in 2011: 4

Invest in America’s ombudsman program has achieved a number of successes in working across the federal government to address investor concerns and issues involving federal agencies. If a foreign investor has a federal-level issue that is jeopardizing an investment in the United States, please contact Aaron Brickman at 202-482-5199 or email Invest in America ataaron.brickman@trade.gov.

We invite you to connect with us through the “Invest in America” group on Linkedin.com.

Please address all comments and suggestions to info@investamerica.gov. For more information about Invest in America, please visit our website at www.investamerica.gov.

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