Tampa Bay delegation markets region to foreign company prospects at SelectUSA Summit

July 7, 2016

Last month, representatives from Hillsborough, Pinellas, and Pasco counties joined forces at the SelectUSA Summit in Washington, DC to meet with foreign company prospects and educate them about the advantages of establishing operations in Tampa Bay. The Summit, hosted by President Barack Obama, is the highest profile event promoting foreign direct investment (FDI) in the United States. It provides an unparalleled opportunity to bring together companies from all over the world, economic development organizations from across the U.S., and high level government leaders officials. This year’s event welcomed 2,500 participants and foreign delegations from 70 nations.

FDI creates jobs, contributes to U.S. innovation, and helps drive exports. Each day, 12 million people go to work at jobs created as a result of FDI, and these firms generally provide compensation higher than the national average. Recently, A.T. Kearney named the United States the best place in the world to invest for the 4th year in a row.

Why is an event like SelectUSA strategically important for Tampa Bay?

“SelectUSA is where foreign companies come to learn more about how, where, and why to invest in the United States,” said Lorrie Belovich, the EDC’s Director of International Business Development. “It’s essential that we inform prospects about the opportunities Tampa Bay affords their companies and show why bringing jobs and capital investment to our community makes great business sense.”

The Tampa Bay delegation participated as an exhibitor in the Florida Pavilion and co-sponsored a reception hosted by the Florida Secretary of Commerce at the Florida House on Capitol Hill. During matchmaking sessions arranged by SelectUSA, Team Tampa Bay met one-on-one with 15 foreign companies from such countries as Brazil, Chile, UK, France, Colombia, Greece, Mexico, Canada and Finland. All expressed an interest in expanding their companies here, and follow up conversations are underway with several of the prospects.

What’s drawing these companies to our market?

Connectivity to and services from Port Tampa Bay and Tampa International Airport, as well as access to customers and proximity to Latin America, topped the list.

Tampa Bay’s recent selection to participate in the Brookings Institution and JPMorgan Chase’s Global Cities Initiative (GCI) will help spur increased foreign investment in our local economy. The local GCI team will conduct a market assessment of the current FDI landscape in the area and ultimately develop a more targeted and effective regional strategy to make sure that Tampa Bay gets an even bigger piece of the investment pie at the 2017 SelectUSA Summit.