International Representatives Take on Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania is no stranger to foreign direct investment. Home to more than 6,100 foreign-owned firms employing over 334,000 workers; the commonwealth has been providing quality assistance to international companies for more than 20 years. The Office of International Business Development (OIBD), housed within Pennsylvania’s Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED), offers customized services to help international companies looking to locate or expand in our state. OIBD works in tandem with a team of 9 internationally-based global investment representatives covering more than 30 countries, regional and local government organizations, industry associations, and various other partners to engage international companies in Pennsylvania’s business community. With the help of these partners, Pennsylvania continues to break down global barriers and drive economic growth through the attraction of new foreign-owned companies so they can invest, expand, and operate their business in Pennsylvania.
Every two years, Pennsylvania’s International Investment Representatives visit the state to learn about the most recent accomplishments, sites, partners, and international companies in the commonwealth. This event, known as “Bringing the World to PA”, is a 10-day business tour coordinated by OIBD. Working with local and regional economic development partners, OIBD develops a schedule that features changes in the Pennsylvania investment landscape and the new technologies and companies developing here, while highlighting available sites and buildings throughout the commonwealth. The event’s goal is to share the latest information about Pennsylvania, generate new ideas, and learn best practices for working with international prospects in attracting them to Pennsylvania.
This year’s tour, which ran from May 8-19, 2017, showcased more than 50 partners and companies, several universities, regional and industrial seminars, and networking events in more than 20 counties across the commonwealth.
FDI in Pennsylvania
Currently, the United Kingdom, Germany, Canada, France, Japan, and Switzerland round out the top six countries leading in foreign investment in Pennsylvania. However, we also have a growing number of Brazilian, Irish, Israeli, and Chinese firms in the state. Pennsylvania, the sixth-largest state in population, is the fourth-largest state for people working for international companies.
With a diverse base of businesses and the most cost-competitive business environment in the Northeast U.S., Pennsylvania offers a skilled and trained workforce, one of the strongest supply chains in North America, and an optimal central location to help global companies succeed in the prosperous American market.
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.