LVEDC Attends Two of the World’s Most Prestigious Foreign Direct Investment Events
By Colin McEvoy on June 25, 2018
The Lehigh Valley was recently on display at two of the highest-profile events dedicated to promoting foreign direct investment in the United States.
Representatives from the Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corporation (LVEDC) attended the 2018 SelectUSA Investment Summit last week, marketing the economic assets of the Lehigh Valley to C-Suite business executives, corporate site selectors, and overseas investors seeking places to invest capital and create jobs.
“This summit gives us a unique opportunity to speak one-on-one with those directly involved in foreign direct investment decisions and let them know why the Lehigh Valley is the perfect place for an overseas company seeking an entry into the Northeastern U.S. market,” said Matthew Tuerk, LVEDC Vice President of Economic Development and Marketing.
More than 3,000 people participated in the 2018 SelectUSA Investment Summit, including more than 1,200 business representatives from 66 foreign markets. It was held June 20 to June 22 at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center in the Washington D.C. area. This marks the third consecutive year LVEDC officials have attended the event.
Additionally, LVEDC President & CEO Don Cunningham attended the 2018 World Forum for Foreign Direct Investment, which was held in Liverpool, England, from June 11 to June 13. Hosted by the 2018 International Business Festival, the event gathered multinational companies, investment institutions, and industry professionals for discussions over the latest developments in international investment strategies.
“With so many countries in the world at the forum, you learn quickly about the competition,” Cunningham said. “It truly is a global economy and companies have choices. It’s critical to understand what we need to do in the Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania and the U.S. to remain competitive and to continue to attract economic growth and good jobs.”
As part of an examination of emerging development trends, the event featured panel themes such as the growing importance of building a sustainable and responsible company and the interaction of corporations and governments in an increasingly inharmonious world. Business leaders were invited to meet government officials, trade ministries, and potential partners to discover how to renew and focus their business strategies to meet the demands of the future.
At SelectUSA, LVEDC hosted an exhibition booth at the prestigious event, providing an unparalleled platform to highlight the region for companies from all over the world, economic development organizations from across the nation, and other parties working to facilitate business investment in the United States.
Additionally, LVEDC representatives spoke directly with dozens of international companies about investment opportunities in the Lehigh Valley, as well as investment advisors and site selectors about how LVEDC can help their clients succeed, and various national and international government representatives.
In addition to Tuerk, LVEDC Director of Marketing Michael Keller and Director of Business Recruitment Doug Warfel attended the SelectUSA Investment Summit.
Foreign direct investment has become an increasingly important component of the Lehigh Valley economy. In 2015, 45 percent of the region’s major business attraction and/or expansion projects were from international companies. Earlier this month, the French bakery snacks manufacturer Norac celebrated its new Lehigh Valley plant, its first U.S. facility.
The LVEDC booth allowed officials to discuss Lehigh Valley economic success stories and distribute marketing materials, including the brochures about the regional economy that have been translated into eight different languages, including Mandarin Chinese, English, Arabic, French, German, Korean, Japanese, and Spanish.
Several products made in the Lehigh Valley were also on display. A guitar by C.F. Martin & Co. was given away in what proved to be one of the event’s most popular raffles, and Peeps candies by Just Born and crayons by Crayola were also distributed.
LVEDC officials discussed success stories related to the home countries of each of the various business owners and executives who visited them. For example, when speaking with visitors from Japan, they discussed the success Japanese companies like Olympus and Daiichi Sankyo have had in the region. For German executives, they highlighted companies like B. Braun and HYDAC.
The event included was also attended by 10 Governors, five U.S. Cabinet secretaries, and executives from Mercedes-Benz US International, Siemens USA, and Toyota Motor North America. During this year’s summit, four international companies – JSW Steel, NewCold, Re:Cognition Health, and Weastec – announced expansions in the United States,
The theme of this year’s summit was “Invest Here. Grow Here. Succeed Here,” focusing on the crucial connections between U.S. economic developers and international business investors.
The three-day program included sessions on such topics as communications with foreign investors, managing risk for first-time international investors, foreign direct investment data, transportation infrastructure financing, negotiations on a global scale, understanding regional industry clusters, and understanding business immigration programs.
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