By Mike Wallace
Later this month, from October 31 – November 1, the Obama Administration will host what is being billed as a first-of-its-kind event to connect businesses and investors from around the world with U.S. economic development organizations at the state and local levels.
The SelectUSA 2013 Investment Summit aims to save time and money for local governments and international businesses by facilitating connections and providing the most up-to-date information on foreign direct investment (FDI)—all in one building.
Hundreds of investor-participants will be in attendance, looking for opportunities on the tradeshow floor and through online matchmaking. Federal government agencies will also be on hand to answer questions about resources and regulations. Many states and territories are organizing booths in cooperation with cities and counties—and there is still time to get involved.
Governments all over the world work hard to court international investors because FDI creates jobs. Companies like Toyota, Siemens and BMW have operated manufacturing and research facilities in the United States for decades. Approximately 5.6 million American workers were directly employed by subsidiaries of foreign companies in 2011, with an average annual wage of $77,600. Subsidiaries have invested $45.2 billion in research and development, contributing to the innovative climate that’s critical to American economic success.
The SelectUSA Investment Summit will feature high-level speakers, including four members of President Obama’s cabinet: Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker; Secretary of State John Kerry; Secretary of the Treasury Jack Lew; and U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman. Top corporate leadership, including C-Suite representatives from Bloomberg, BlackRock, Dow Chemical, Siemens, Walmart and many others will share their experiences. Subject matter experts will share the latest trends, provide practical tips and dispel common myths about FDI.
SelectUSA, launched by the Administration in 2011, is a federal initiative to support state and local efforts to attract international investment through counseling for economic development organizations, platform events to highlight local offerings, ombudsman assistance for potential employers, and advocacy on behalf of U.S. locations.