SelectUSA is FDI matchmaking
The EDB and other Pierce County delegates just wrapped up at the 53rd International Paris Air Show. We’ll have more to report on that in an upcoming issue of Teamwork. Closer to home, representatives from economic development organizations in Washington State are just back from SelectUSA, where regions make pitches to foreign companies looking to do business in the United States.
The SelectUSA Investment Summit, held June 10-12 in Washington D.C., is a high-profile event dedicated to promoting the U.S. as the world’s premier investment destination. The summit connects qualified firms from around the world with U.S. economic development groups to facilitate business investment and job creation.
Sarah Bonds, EDB vice president for business recruitment, represented the EDB and Pierce County as part of the Washington State Department of Commerce delegation. It was the first time the EDB participated in the event.
Swipe right at SelectUSA: Creating and building relationships
Integral to the summit was SelectUSA’s matchmaking tool, which helped facilitate interactions and connections between investors and economic developers. The digital platform enabled summit goers to arrange meetings ahead of time, allowing attendees to make the most of their time and accomplish months’ worth of networking in a few days.
With a focus on aerospace, advanced manufacturing, tech and health care, Bonds plugged in specific criteria and set up 21 meetings ahead of the summit. Over the three-day event, she met with companies from Japan, Scotland, Indonesia, Greece, Canada, Germany, Morocco, the Netherlands, India, Israel, Sweden and France. Think speed dating, with 100 tables set up in a large room and sessions limited to 25 minutes. Given the opportunity to research the companies ahead of time, Bonds was able to zero in on what they were interested in during the meetings as they pursue U.S. opportunities, such as Pierce County workforce demographics, educational systems, incentives and more. Over the coming weeks, Bonds will follow up on several warm leads.
“As the marketplace becomes more and more competitive, it’s important to be proactive and get ourselves in front of people who might not be aware of Pierce County and all its investment opportunities,” Bonds said. “Having the ability to come to the table with the right companies that are already interested in what Pierce County and Washington State have to offer was a great way to get the ball rolling.”
Find out more about the SelectUSA Investment Summit at selectusa.gov/2019-investment-summit.
Good time to toot our horn
The timing of the SelectUSA Summit and the International Paris Air Show couldn’t have been better for touting the benefits of doing business in Pierce County and Washington State. In May, U.S. News and World Report named Washington the best state in the country, citing cleaner energy and a booming tech sector. And a new study from WalletHub said Washington State has the best economy in the United States (No. 1 in economic activity, No. 4 in economic health and No. 2 in innovation potential).
WalletHub compared the 50 states and the District of Columbia across 28 key indicators of economic performance and strength, including GDP growth, startup activity and the share of jobs in high-tech industries. Each metric was graded on a 100-point scale, with a score of 100 representing the highest economic performance. Washington State’s total score was 77.60.