LVEDC Markets Lehigh Valley to International Business Executives at SelectUSA Summit
By Colin McEvoy on June 29, 2016
More than 2,600 major business owners and executives and international investors gathered this month for the highest-profile event in the nation dedicated to promoting foreign direct investment (FDI). And the Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corporation (LVEDC) was there.
The SelectUSA Investment Summit brought together companies from all over the world, as well as site selectors working to facilitate international business investment in the United States, providing an unparalleled opportunity to engage with overseas investors seeking places to invest capital and create jobs.
LVEDC hosted an exhibition booth at the prestigious event, directly marketing the economic assets of the Lehigh Valley to those investors and explaining why the region has recently experienced a significant trend in foreign direct investment, which accounted for 42 percent of its major business attraction and expansion projects last year.
“International investment has become increasingly important for the Lehigh Valley economy,” said Don Cunningham, LVEDC President and CEO. “As a result, we’ve been translating our marketing materials into multiple languages and really ramping up international recruitment efforts, and our presence at the SelectUSA Investment Summit is a part of that.”
At the booth, LVEDC distributed copies of marketing materials about the Lehigh Valley economy, which have been translated into eight different languages. The LVEDC 2015 annual report and most recent issue of the Lehigh Valley Commercial Real Estate Report were also distributed.
The LVEDC booth was manned by Matthew Tuerk, the organization’s Vice President of Economic Development and Marketing, as well as Michael Keller, LVEDC Director of Marketing, who were also able to discuss Lehigh Valley economic success stories from companies from various countries.
For example, when speaking with business owners and executives from Japan, Keller said he discussed the success companies like Olympus and Daiichi Sankyo have experienced in the region. For German executives, he highlighted companies like B. Braun and HYDAC, he said, and for Chinese executives he discussed Fuling Plastics, the first Chinese manufacturer to invest in Pennsylvania.
LVEDC also raffled off an acoustic guitar from C.F. Martin & Company, the Nazareth-based guitar manufacturer. That unique giveaway drew particular attention to the Lehigh Valley booth, with multiple people stopping by to play the instrument.
Held from June 19-21 in Washington, D.C., the SelectUSA Investment Summit attracted participants from more than 70 international markets and all 50 states. The theme of this year’s event was “The Innovation Advantage,” showcasing investment opportunities from every corner of the United States for global investors.
The summit included a keynote speech from President Barack Obama, who noted that the United States is responsible for one-quarter of the world’s R&D investments. He added that since the first SelectUSA summit three years ago, participating companies have invested more than $10 billion in 35 U.S. states and territories.
“Over the last four years, no other country has been named by CEOs around the world more frequently as the best place to invest with confidence,” Obama said. “In large part because the decisions we’ve made since the financial crisis to build our economy on a new foundation for the future, there is no country on Earth that’s better positioned for the long run than the United States.”
Eight of the Lehigh Valley’s 19 major business attraction and/or expansion projects from 2015 were from international companies, including Norac (France), Safran/MBD (France), Nihon Kohden (Japan), Primark (Ireland), SunOpta (Canada) and others.
FDI creates jobs, contributes to U.S. innovation, and helped drive exports, according to SelectUSA. In 2013, majority-owned U.S. affiliates of foreign companies employed 6.1 million people in the United States, spent $53 billion on U.S. research and development, and exported $360 billion worth of goods.
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