The 2016 Hannover Messe was not only an opportunity to showcase the ingenuity and innovation of American products and services, it was also a chance to demonstrate on an international stage why the United States is the world’s most competitive investment destination.
More than 90 state and local economic development organizations (EDOs) were on hand to represent locations across the United States where innovation thrives.
At SelectUSA, our mission is to create a platform through which international companies and EDOs can meet, learn about each other, and explore opportunities for investment together. During the Hannover Messe, our team hosted briefings and roundtables at the USA Investment Pavilion (check out the agenda here), and we had the privilege of engaging in some great conversations.
At the Hannover Messe, Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker met with business and economic development leaders to thank them for their work, hear their feedback on the U.S. investment climate, and seek their advice on how SelectUSA can continue to meet the needs of our clients. While the conversation touched on many issues, participants emphasized two key themes, both of which will be integral to our upcoming 2016 SelectUSA Investment Summit.
The first theme was the growing number of foreign small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) interested in investing in the United States. At SelectUSA, we understand that SMEs, start-ups, or first-time investors of any size need assistance as they seek to establish operations in the United States. Our team members stand ready to help companies figure out where to get started. We help companies find the information they need to make decisions, connect to the right people at the local level, navigate the federal regulatory system, and find answers related to the federal government.
Last March, roughly 60 percent of the investors at the 2015 SelectUSA Investment Summit were SMEs, and we expect a similar turnout at the 2016 Summit scheduled for June 19-21 in Washington, D.C. The Summit provides a cost-effective way for businesses to explore thousands of miles of U.S. territory in one convenient exhibition hall. EDOs from every corner of the nation will be on hand to share opportunities in their locations and meet face-to-face with investors.
The second theme of the discussion was the importance of workforce development to ensure that the American workforce is prepared for the changing demands of the digital economy. Secretary Pritzker has made this a priority for the U.S. Department of Commerce, which is leading the “Skills for Business” agenda and working closely with the Departments of Labor and Education. Earlier this month, Secretary Pritzker visited Houston to highlight the “Communities that Work Partnership,” which the Commerce Department created with the Aspen Institute to facilitate industry-led training partnerships that help prepare workers with the skills they need for in-demand jobs.
Workforce development will also be featured at the SelectUSA Summit. The overarching theme is “The Innovation Advantage,” and the diversity, skills, and productivity of American workers are essential to creating a business environment in which innovation thrives. We recently released the Summit agenda, which includes sessions on cultivating talent and best practices for apprenticeships and occupational training.
We look forward to continuing these conversations over the next few days at Hannover Messe, at the SelectUSA Summit, and every day in between on Twitter, by email, or by phone. Let us know how we can assist you.
Join us for the 2016 SelectUSA Summit, June 19-21 in Washington, DC: Hosted by President Barack Obama, the SelectUSA Investment Summit is a high-profile event that promotes foreign direct investment (FDI) in the United States and will showcase investment opportunities from every corner of the country. Companies of all sizes will find the practical tools, information, and connections they need to move investments forward. High-profile business and government leaders will share their insight about our innovative climate and diversity of resources in plenaries and breakout sessions during the Summit.
Representatives from companies like Xerox, Indiegogo, ABB Group, L’Oréal, Rassini, IKEA, Wanxiang Group, and TOTO will share real-world examples of successful investments across the United States. At the Summit, international investors and U.S. economic organizations will have the opportunity to engage face-to-face to explore how, where, and why invest in the United States.