U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker today launched the inaugural SelectUSA 2013 Investment Summit, telling the more than 1,200 attendees from nearly 60 countries, 47 states, the District of Columbia and three U.S. territories that the United States is open for business. During the event, the Commerce Department along with the President's Council of Economic Advisers released a report detailing the benefits of foreign direct investment (FDI) for the U.S. economy and the reasons why the U.S. remains the world's largest recipient of FDI.
President Barack Obama will address the Summit later today. In addition to Secretary Pritzker, Secretary of State John Kerry, Treasury Secretary Jack Lew, and U.S. Trade Representative Ambassador Michael Froman will also deliver remarks over the course of the two-day event.
"The SelectUSA Summit is all about business. It's all about connecting investors with communities," Commerce Secretary Pritzker told the audience. "We want to open that first door to making an investment here in the United States. Clearly, our investment climate is strong. America is open for business."
President Obama launched SelectUSA in 2011, creating the first federal program charged with coordinating government resources at home and abroad to promote and facilitate foreign direct investment (FDI) investment in America and bring jobs to the U.S. The SelectUSA Summit is a first-of-its-kind opportunity for foreign and domestic investors looking to establish or expand their footprint in America to connect with local, state and regional economic development organizations to find the most suitable locations for their needs. It features two days of informative panels and breakout sessions to help participants learn how to take advantage of the latest investment trends, opportunities and programs; how to navigate the U.S. market; how to research and tackle the critical issues that drive investment location decisions; and how to identify, target, and execute investment strategies more effectively.
Also at the Summit today, the U.S. Commerce Department and the President's Council of Economic Advisors (CEA) released a joint report documenting the factors that make the U.S. a sought-after destination for foreign investment, examining recent trends in FDI and outlining benefits of FDI for the entire economy. The report notes that the United States is the largest recipient of FDI in the world, with stock of more than $2.6 trillion dollars -- including $166 billion that flowed into the country in 2012. Moreover, companies around the world now consider the U.S. to be the nation with the top FDI prospects globally.
The report concludes that the U.S. should continue to "nurture and build upon the underlying strengths of the U.S. economy that make firms want to invest here; including an open investment regime, a large economy, a skilled labor forced, community colleges, world-class research universities, predictable and stable regulatory regime, adequately capacitated infrastructure, and new energy sources."
In addition to the President and Cabinet Members, planned speakers and moderators at the Summit include Governors Bill Haslam of Tennessee and Jack Markell of Delaware, Senior Advisor to the President Valerie Jarrett, Director of the National Economic Council Gene Sperling, plus corporate leaders such as Laurence Fink of BlackRock, Daniel Doctoroff of Bloomberg L.P., Douglas Oberhelman of Caterpillar, Inc., Andrew Liveris of Dow Chemical Company, Eric Spiegel of Siemens Corporation, and William (Bill) Simon of Walmart U.S.