What is FDI and Why Does it Matter?

The term “FDI,” or Foreign Direct Investment, is actually as simple as it sounds. Foreign companies looking to invest in the United States are the basis of foreign direct investment. The U.S. is recognized as a strong place to do business and a country at the forefront of innovation. That especially is true in the Research Triangle region. When we take a closer look at FDI, we see the many benefits it has for economic development. It diversifies the workforce, creates a large number of jobs with high salaries, and, often times, enhances an already-dynamic business environment.

FDI in the Research Triangle is a critical element to our region’s success. For example, since 2007, foreign-owned firms have announced 17,000 new jobs and more than $5 billion investment in the Research Triangle. Foreign-owned companies continually have recognized the Research Triangle as a hub for innovation and a global leader in the tech space. They also show a great amount of interest in our other industry clusters, such as life sciences and advanced manufacturing.

Our team views FDI as a strategic element of our retention strategy, which is why we are launching our first FDI Forum titled: The State of Foreign Direct Investment, Focus: Asia. Our local Asian-led companies have impacted our economy for many years, and as a result, of the 625 international companies in the Triangle, 145 of those are Asian-owned firms.

“Asian companies, and Japanese companies in particular, continue to be attracted to North Carolina’s business climate, and the talent pool of workers in the Research Triangle region”, said David Robinson, special counsel, Nexsen Pruet, and Honorary Consul to Japan. “Manufacturing in North Carolina will continue to be attractive to these investors; however, we are seeing increased FDI interest in strategic collaborations with area companies to tap into the breadth of R&D in this area. It is an exciting time to be engaged in cross-border transactions.”

We agree this is an exciting time in the Research Triangle region, and we hope you will join us at our first FDI event on July 26 from 11:30am - 1:30pm at the Brier Creek Country Club. You will hear from the Consul General of Japan Takashi Shinozuka, and Norikazu Mori, chief executive director of the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO). A panel discussion will follow the keynotes and will be moderated by Michael Landguth, CEO, Raleigh-Durham International Airport.

FDI will continue to be a focus for Wake County Economic Development. If you have interest in learning more about the event, or our strategic initiative, please contact Kathleen Henry, our team’s FDI expert.

See you at the FDI Forum!



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