The impact of foreign direct investment on the Triangle cannot be understated. In just the last two years, foreign-owned firms created 4,167 new jobs and $393 million of investment in the Research Triangle. Those numbers increase to 17,000 new jobs and $5 billion of investment when you look at the last decade.
Knowing this, foreign direct investment is one of our key focuses. For the second year, we hosted The State of Foreign Direct Investment to learn how global connectivity encourages economic growth and makes us more competitive.
“Mid-sized firms that trade tend to be more competitive,” said Marek Gootman, a fellow and director of strategic partnerships and global initiatives at the Brookings Institution Metropolitan Policy Program.
Gootman was the keynote speaker of our event. He discussed the importance of regions in FDI.
“Regions have a central role in going global,” said Gootman. “Metros must integrate trade and FDI into mainstream economic development.”
Gootman moderated a panel discussion focusing on the future of FDI, including how local companies are positioning themselves globally to compete and grow on a global scale.
“We’ve been here for more than 20 years,” said Ron Kehler, vice president of global professional and specialty solutions with BASF. “Landing here was primarily related to research and development and the connections to the research universities here. The biotech area is very attractive here.”
Charles Vaillant, chief technology officer with MANN+HUMMEL, talked about the importance of collaboration in our area.
“The level of collaboration that is happening here today has not happened before,” he said.
Bob Messier, senior vice president of marketing and customer engagement with SAS Institute, discussed talent recruitment.
“Wherever people are coming from when they come here, they still need to feel connected to their culture,” he said.
Wake County Economic Development Executive Director Michael Haley closed the discussion with some key takeaways, including how any market has to take advantage of the assets it has.
“The international marketplace is here to stay for this region,” he said.
We want to thank all of our speakers for sharing their knowledge and perspectives with us. To learn more about the discussion from the event, please check out our official Twitter hashtag, #FDIForum19.
We also want to thank our platinum sponsor, Bank of America, and our silver sponsor, Triangle Business Journal, for their support to make this event possible.
Please also join us on Aug. 9 at the Raleigh Convention Center for our Diversity, Equity & Inclusivity Conference 2019. Last year, this conference trended nationally on Twitter and we want to build on the momentum and conversation. You will learn tangible ways to advance DEI solutions in the workforce, workplace, and marketplace.