Site Selection Magazine and the Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) Association today named Gov. Terry Branstad as the "Foreign Direct Investment Politician of the Year" during the 10th Annual World Forum for Foreign Direct Investment in Shanghai, China.
Additionally, the Iowa Fertilizer Company was named the 2nd-best "Deal of the Year," joining several FDI wins for the state. Since January 2011, IEDA has assisted FDI projects in projects that are expected to create and retain nearly 1,000 jobs and result in capital investment in Iowa of almost $2 billion. The top five FDI projects include the Iowa Fertilizer Company, Valent Biosciences, CJ Bio America, Danisco US Inc., Bridgestone Americas Tires and Hipra USA.
According to the FDI Association, the governor's international award "present(s) accolades for achievement and excellence in the FDI arena in 2012/13." Gov. Branstad's success with foreign direct investment results from his administration's efforts in recruiting businesses to locate in a state or area to grow jobs and strengthen the economy.
"As the governor of Iowa, I have the tremendous opportunity to promote our state, our people and our strong resources to a world market," said Branstad. "This award gives Iowa a prominent place on the world stage, and is an honor in which all Iowans can take pride. The hardworking, sincere people of Iowa are proud of the safe and reliable products they produce for a growing world population. Lt. Governor Reynolds and I have worked tirelessly to grow jobs in our state and improve our economy -- and these efforts are being noticed around the world."
Attending the World Forum on Foreign Direct Investment in Shanghai, China, Lt. Governor Kim Reynolds was the featured speaker on the opening panel of the forum to promote the state of Iowa and the opportunities for direct economic investment to an audience of international leaders.
"This forum is a tremendous opportunity to meet face-to-face with key economic and industry leaders to have an open dialogue on economic prospects that would benefit the state and people of Iowa," said Reynolds. "As I talk to business leaders from Europe or from Asia, they have all heard of the great things we are doing in Iowa, and they want to learn more about the steps we are taking as a state to recruit companies, grow our state economy and create careers for Iowans."
In this award category, second place was given to Frank Jensen, Lord Mayor from Copenhagen, Denmark, third place was presented to the Honorable Zafer Çağlayan, Minister of Economy, Turkey, fourth place was presented to Henk Kool, Vice Mayor, The Hague, Holland and fifth place was presented to Noureddine Zekri, General Manager, FIPA Tunisia.
Award winners were determined based on data collected by the Conway Data New Plant Report and by an independent panel of consultants from around the world, including Andreas Dressler, Managing Director, TERRAIN Global, Jason Hickey, President, Hickey & Associates, Yin Hong, National Director & Head of Manufacturing Services, China, Jones Lang LaSalle, Roel Spee, Global Leader, Plant Location International (PLI) Global Location Strategies, IBM Global Business Services, Shirar O'Connor, Principal, The Pont Group, Robert Pittman, Senior Principal, Janus Economics and David East, Director, fDi Intelligence.
Governor Branstad's leadership in bringing foreign direct investment projects to the state is clear. In addition to the Governor's receipt of the FDI Politician of the Year, Iowa was recognized with a second place FDI Deal of the Year honor for Iowa Fertilizer Company's (IFCo) $1.4 billion project in Lee County.
"Governor Branstad has really elevated our position in the international marketplace," said Debi Durham, director of the Iowa Economic Development Authority. "And that has helped us to bring in some very significant business locations to Iowa."