1. Report on FDI Forum

    Report on FDI Forum

    I attended the FDI (Foreign Direct Investment) Forum in St. Louis earlier this week. I have attended several previous Forums on a variety of topics.

    The host, Area Development magazine, invites ten site selectors with
    expertise in the topic at hand to present information to economic development
    officials from around the US.  In addition to the presentations, there are opportunities to network with the site
    consultants about current or potential projects. Here are some key takeaways
    from the Forum:

    • Global FDI reached $2 Trillion prior to the
      financial crisis and has rebounded back to about $1.6 Trillion annually.

    • The United States has been the top recipient of inbound
      FDI every year since the statistics have been kept. Inbound FDI to the US totaled
      $150 Billion in 2012, which was a down year. 
      The panelists all forecast an uptick in 2013 and a strong uptick in

    • Europe is by far (70%) the biggest source of FDI
      into the US. Less than 2% comes from China, although that number is growing.

    • Over 75% of inbound FDI into the US comes from
      eight countries -- six in Western Europe, Canada and Japan. The EDC maintains relationships
      with our peers and government officials in all of them, and particularly strong
      relationships in all of them except Japan. They are a growing source of leads
      for our Prospect Management system.

    • The Netherlands and France (our top two inbound
      target countries) ranked #1 and #2 in overall FDI into the US in 2012, although
      the rankings often fluctuate pending significant individual investments in any
      given year.

    • Inbound FDI has increased 800% since 1980. The
      total stock of FDI in the US is almost $3 Trillion. That represents 6.4% of GDP
      and has doubled in the timeframe.

    • Manufacturing is consistently the largest sector
      for inbound FDI, but IT is the fastest growing. These two sectors are the EDC’s
      top two priorities.

    • FDI accounts for over 5 million jobs, 1/3 of
      them in manufacturing, and supports wages (average $76,000) significantly
      higher than for US companies in the same field.

    • The EDC made connections between potential
      inbound European investors and 20 local companies in Q1 2013.

    For more information about the Forum or the EDC’s inbound
    investment program (foreign or domestic), please contact Michael Graney at
    413-755-1300 or m.graney@westernmassedc.com.

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