Networking Luncheon Focused on State’s FDI Prospects
Over 100 NCEDA members and guests attended a December 6 Networking Luncheon addressing the current state of foreign direct investment (FDI) into North Carolina. “The trade conflict is definitely impacting FDI flows from China,” said Korey Howard, senior international business development manager at the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina (EDPNC). But Japan’s slow-growing economy and aging demographics are steering Japanese companies into US markets. One example is automotive equipment manufacturers. “Electronic and autonomous vehicles are generating opportunities for North Carolina,” Howard said. He believes changing consumer eating habits in China, South Korea and Japan mean new demand for North Carolina-made foods. “Their diets are becoming more Western – and that’s everything from bacon to bananas,” Howard said.
Rahul Padmanabha, investment director of North Carolina’s India Office, shared perspectives on what expanding Indian businesses seek in an overseas destination. “One of the factors Indian companies want to capitalize on in the United States is access to technology,” said Padmanabha, a former representative for SelectUSA in India. Even though India’s economy is diverse and rapidly growing, Indian firms “want to be recognized as a truly global company, and they believe one of the best and easiest ways to do that is enter the US market,” he said. The Reserve Bank of India recently relaxed regulations on domestic companies seeking oversees expansion. “Between 2010 and 2017, the FDI from India into the United States has grown over 50 percent,” Padmanabha told the gathering. North Carolina’s India Office opened in Bangalore in November. The office is charged with attracting inbound investment to North Carolina from India. EDPNC maintains similar offices in Korea, Japan, China and Germany.