For the ninth consecutive year, the United States has been the top destination for foreign direct investment (FDI). The ranking, determined by the A.T. Kearney FDI Confidence Index, is the result of several positive business factors, including competitive tax rates, technological and innovation capabilities and R&D capabilities. The index uses primary data from a proprietary survey of 500 senior executives from the world’s leading corporations, who are making investment decisions as part of their jobs. FDI for corporate profitability and competitiveness has grown steadily in importance among investors, from 26 percent in 2016 to 32 percent in 2019. Within the US, New Jersey tied for first for the highest concentration of FDI jobs in 2019, which accounted for 8.2 percent of private-sector jobs in the state as reported by the Global Business Alliance.
Why the United States is the Leading Recipient of FDI
So why is the U.S. so attractive for foreign investment? The appeal of the United States to foreign investors is typically attributed to its business-friendly regulatory environment, skilled workforce, technological proficiency, and large domestic market. The U.S. reigns supreme largely due to its robust and sustained economic growth in recent years, as well as overall stable business climate. Additionally, the lower levels of financial market development in other countries will continue to support capital flows into the U.S. There is an implication that, as countries around the world continue to strengthen their own financial markets, this important driver of capital will gradually lessen. But these adjustments will likely occur slowly, especially in low-income countries.
Still, foreign investors continue investing in the United States for other reasons, such as its strong corporate governance and institutions or to diversify their investment portfolio to reduce risk. Investors outside of the U.S. may also bring their money here because of their strong linkages within the US, through trade flows or such measures of “closeness” as distance, sharing a common language, or low-cost communications.
Nationwide, FDI in the United States contributes to productivity growth, generates US exports, and creates high-paying jobs for American workers. According to SelectUSA, in 2018, FDI was responsible for:
- Supporting 7.8 million direct jobs
- $66.9 billion in innovative R&D expenditures
- 24 percent of all US goods exports
The U.S. Bureau for Economic Analysis found that FDI in the US increased $331.2 billion to $4.46 trillion at the end of 2019, up from $4.13 trillion at the end of 2018. The increase mainly reflected a $157.3 billion increase in the position from Asia and the Pacific, primarily Japan. In 2019, the largest sources of FDI in the US (by UBO) were:
- Japan (14.5 percent)
- Canada (13.0 percent)
- Germany (11.7 percent)
- United Kingdom (10.0 percent)
In addition, by industry, FDI in the US was concentrated in the manufacturing sector (40.1 percent), followed by finance and insurance (12.3 percent) and wholesale trade (10.5 percent).
Proven FDI success in NJ
New Jersey is an international gateway, home to 17 Fortune 500 companies, more than 1,100 multinational companies and 225 foreign company headquarters. Our State has driven major FDI success in 2020. According to SelectUSA, New Jersey has seen:
- 290,800 jobs directly supported by majority foreign-owned affiliates
- Number of projects in key industry sectors: Other industries (177), Pharmaceuticals (36), Software & IT Services (35), Business Services (29), Industrial Equipment (24), Chemicals (21)
- Top sources of FDI in NJ (322 total announced greenfield projects):
- United Kingdom (14 percent)
- Japan (10 percent)
- Germany (9 percent)
- India (7 percent)
New Jersey’s relationship with international entities has grown in part from multiple overseas mission trips and the establishment of international business centers. Choose New Jersey, New Jersey’s leading economic development organization, has helped many international companies grow in the U.S. since our founding in 2010. Our efforts include Governor-led mission trips to Israel, Germany, and India, as well as business attraction trips to Ireland and Israel. We assist companies with the expansion or relocation process, providing market intelligence and State resource information, site selection assistance and public-private introductions. Choose New Jersey has two offices in India and Europe, which cultivate international investment and provide personalized support for companies to identify and explore opportunities for growth in North America.
The New Jersey India Center
The New Jersey India Center, located in New Delhi, provides resources to Indian companies looking to grow in our State. New Jersey is the #1 state in the US with the highest concentration of Indian companies and the #2 state for Indian FDI. As New Jersey’s 4th largest trading partner, Indian companies that locate here not only profit but prosper.
The New Jersey Europe Center
The New Jersey Europe Center, headquartered in Berlin, Germany, serves as our first point of contact for European businesses. EU countries have invested $82.65 billion U.S. dollars in New Jersey and have created 115,647 jobs here.
Recent FDI Success in New Jersey
The following sample of FDI projects has helped our State continue its legacy of innovation and make New Jersey a prime destination for future foreign investment.
1. Excelsoft Technologies (India)
Choose New Jersey was first introduced to Excelsoft Technologies, a provider of technology-based innovations in the education and training space, at the India September Roadshow in 2019. During Governor Phil Murphy’s business attraction mission, the New Jersey delegation met with the company in Delhi to discuss growth plans in the U.S and synergy with NJ’s higher education institutes. In May 2020, Excelsoft committed to a New Jersey location.
2. SIRO Clinpharm (India)
SIRO Clinpharm Private Limited, a Clinical Research Organization (CRO), supports trials from Phase II to Phase IV and beyond post-launch of products. SIRO offers a range of services, from clinical operations to data services, data analytics, and medical writing. Choose New Jersey met with SIRO during Governor Murphy’s business attraction mission to India. We connected them with our real estate partners to tour potential sites and provided introductions to legal providers, a payroll company, a staffing firm, and an insurance broker. The company opened up an office in Princeton in February 2020.
3. Producers Guild of India (India)
The State of New Jersey, Choose New Jersey, New Jersey Motion Picture and Television Commission, and the Producers Guild of India signed a memorandum of understanding to further enhance their mutual relationship and facilitate the shooting of Bollywood films in New Jersey. Governor Murphy signed the MOU on behalf of New Jersey during his India business attraction mission in order to bolster New Jersey’s film industry, which received a boost through the Governor’s Film Tax Credit Program.
4. Ørsted (Denmark)
Ørsted, a Danish offshore wind firm, was selected to develop New Jersey’s first offshore wind farm – Ocean Wind – with support from NJ utility company PSEG in 2019. The 1,100MW project will be located off the coast of Atlantic City. New Jersey representatives met with Ørsted during Governor Murphy’s business attraction mission to Germany in 2018. Ørsted opened an Atlantic City office in 2018 and has since entered research and academic partnerships with Rutgers, Montclair State, Stockton, and Rowan universities.
5. Rovagnati (Italy)
At the SelectUSA Investment Summit in 2017, Choose New Jersey was introduced to Rovagnati, a charcuterie company based in Biassono, Italy. Our team made introductions to a commercial real estate firm and our partners at Cumberland County Improvement Authority. We then conducted a site search and collaborated with the Vineland Department of Economic Development and Vineland Zoning Division on a 64,000 square-foot production and wholesale distribution facility which was approved in October 2019. Rovagnati USA intends to expand the facility to about 500,000 square feet over the next five years, creating 25 to 150 jobs.
6. Gamesys (UK)
Gamesys, a UK-based online gaming operator, was one of the first companies licensed in New Jersey following the legalization of online casino gambling in June 2018. Gamesys Group recently entered into a new agreement with North American firm Spin Games which will see the company’s content featured on Virgin Casino Online and Tropicana Atlantic City. Gamesys manages Tropicana Atlantic City’s online gaming services and products within the State of New Jersey. They currently have an office located in Jersey City.
Why International Companies Choose New Jersey
The State of New Jersey welcomes international investment. Foreign companies, both small and large, have a long history of finding success in our State. From our world-class logistics and distribution infrastructure to our highly-skilled workforce, New Jersey has it all for companies looking to reach the North American market:
- The 2nd busiest seaport in North America, including 5 Foreign Trade Zones (FTZs)
- The #1 regional airport system in the US when combined with New York City and Philadelphia
- The highest concentration of scientists and engineers per square mile in the US
- The #4 most diverse state in the US
Discover Your Second Home with Choose New Jersey
Choose New Jersey is a leading economic development organization that helps companies from across the globe relocate, expand, or establish operations in our State. We provide a range of complementary business resources and tools to assist in your location decision and will work directly with you to make the transition as smooth as possible. Take your company to the next level and contact us today to learn more about our services. We look forward to working with you!
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