As the primary economic development organization in Wake County, North Carolina, WCED is privileged to work with investors and partners from all over the world. Our goal has always been to attract and retain businesses, create jobs and foster economic growth in our region. One of the most effective ways we have achieved this goal is through a foreign direct investment (FDI) strategy.
FDI occurs when a company or individual invests in a foreign country, either by establishing a new business or acquiring an existing one. This type of investment can have a significant impact on a region's economy, providing new capital, creating jobs and bringing in new skills and technology. For Wake County, FDI has been an essential component of our economic development strategy, helping us to build a diverse and resilient economy.
Recently, we have been fortunate to host several events that have brought international investors and partners to Wake County and the Research Triangle Region. One of these events was a panel discussion with leaders from the Greater Manchester Region and MIDAS, Manchester’s inward investment promotion agency. The panel discussion, moderated by WCED Executive Director Michael Haley, focused on the parallels between the Greater Manchester Region and the Research Triangle Region. Similarities include population size (2.8 million in Manchester’s region compared to 2.2 million here), university partnerships and industry sectors. The panel featured prominent leaders such as the Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham, Manchester City Council Leader Bev Crag, Raleigh Mayor Mary-Ann Baldwin, and Wake County Commissioner Chair Shinica Thomas. Together, they explored the opportunities for collaboration and investment between the two regions.
This visit was part of the growing relationship between the UK and North Carolina stemming from the signed MOU last July. We have enjoyed working with the UK Government's North Carolina office as well as the Triangle British American Business Council to continue fostering the relationship between our communities and regions.
A few weeks later we were pleased to host a reception for Genopole, France's leading biocluster, and two of its incubator companies. This event, held in partnership with the Research Triangle Regional Partnership and the French-American Chamber of Commerce, provided an opportunity to showcase our region's strengths in biotechnology and life sciences. We enjoyed the continuation of our relationship with Genopole following a WCED-led trip to Lyon, France in 2019 to explore the ways our life science industries compare.
Looking ahead, we are now preparing for the SelectUSA Conference in early May, which is the premier event for FDI in the United States. This conference brings together economic developers, investors, and businesses from around the world to explore investment opportunities and promote economic growth. We are excited to showcase Wake County's strengths and opportunities to potential investors and partners, and to continue to build relationships that will support our region's economic development.