Pennsylvania: Attracting FDI for Over 2 Decades

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Ireland Mission – September 2016

Pennsylvania has maintained a dedicated team of professionals focused on attracting foreign direct investment (FDI) for over two decades, providing quality assistance to international companies interested in establishing business operations in our state.

Pennsylvania’s Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED)’s Office of International Business Development (OIBD) is responsible for offering customized services to help international companies looking to locate or expand in Pennsylvania find the resources they need. With nine representatives around the world covering more than 30 countries, we are committed to identifying and working with companies to break down investment barriers on a worldwide scale. In addition to its team of global investment representatives, OIBD works in collaboration with regional and local government organizations, industry associations, and other partners to engage international companies in involvement with Pennsylvania’s business community.

This past year, OIBD participated in multiple international events including Hannover Messe, the SelectUSA Investment Summit in Washington D.C., and SelectUSA Canada in Montreal. At each of these events, we met with many companies interested in learning more about establishing or expanding operations in the Keystone State. Along with our network of international representatives, over the next few months OIBD will continue to conduct outreach at events domestically, and abroad in counties like Italyand India, just to name a few..

Certuss Group

Hanover Messe 2014

Some may ask why it is important for OIBD to participate in such events. The reason is that these face-to-face, in-person meetings often lead to tangible projects and successes.

For example, Certuss, a German steam generator manufacturer, first met with OIBD at Hannover Messe in 2014 at the SelectUSA pavilion. After meetings with our representatives and visits to Pennsylvania, the company ultimately made the decision to establish its commercial activities for North America at the Philadelphia Navy Yard in Philadelphia. Today, Certuss is using the resources available from OIBD and other local partners to capture the potential for growing in the U.S. market.

Companies of all sizes and from an array of industries from around the world have been able to find a place in Pennsylvania’s business community and reap the benefits of investing in our diverse market. At present, there are 6,100 foreign-owned companies that have made an investment in the commonwealth— businesses that employ more than 330,000 Pennsylvanians.

Over the last 20 years that we’ve been assisting with foreign direct investment, OIBD has learned to listen to what is most important to potential investors.

“Location, location, location” isn’t just an overused adage
— it’s a significant factor that continues to play a key role in company site selection and relocation.

Pennsylvania’s prime location on the U.S. East Coast provides easy access to 60 percent of the U.S. and Canadian populations. Our six international airports, 65 operating railroads, three major ports, and eight foreign trade zones make Pennsylvania a strategic location for many companies, leading companies from around the world to locate or expand here. Recent projects from the past few years include:

  • Recognized as the leading global exporter of plastic table and kitchenware, Chinese manufacturer Taizhou Fuling Plastics established its first U.S. manufacturing site in Upper Macungie Township, creating 75 new jobs. (May 2014)
  • Austrian packaging manufacturer Greiner Packaging established its U.S. headquarters in Pittston, creating 128 new jobs. (April 2014)
  • Almac Group, Inc., a Northern Ireland-based global contract pharmaceutical development and manufacturing organization, is currently expanding its operations at its existing U.S. headquarters in Montgomery County, doubling its physical presence at its location in Lansdale. The company’s expansion will create 312 new jobs over the next three years. (Nov 2016)

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Select USA Summit – June 2016

From business diversity to competitive business advantages, we are proud that Pennsylvania provides abundant opportunities for companies from around the world and in all industries to succeed in the United States. We look forward to what the rest of 2017 has in store.

For more information on foreign direct investment in Pennsylvania, contact OIBD’s Executive Director for International Investment, Mr. David Briel, at: dbriel@pa.gov or 717.720.7373. Continue to stay up-to-date with all of the latest DCED announcements by signing up for our monthly newsletter or follow along with us on Twitter or LinkedIn.

Kate Skopp
Kate Skopp is the Director of Global Partnerships & Operations in the Office of International Business Development (OIBD) at the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) in Harrisburg. OIBD includes one of the largest international networks of any state, comprising nine representatives covering more than 30 countries across the globe. The office offers customized services to help international companies who are looking to expand or relocate in Pennsylvania.
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