South Carolina won top honors for its foreign direct investment efforts over the course of a year, attracting the highest number of foreign direct investment projects and interstate investments per capita in the Southeast region and nationally, according to fDI Magazine. The state also attracted the highest number of FDI expansion projects per capita, with the two largest expansions coming from the Upstate.
The ranking did not include a foreign direct investment dollar figure for South Carolina. The state announced attracting $2.3 billion in foreign direct investment linked with 2,600 jobs in 2013.
“Bringing jobs and investment from across the world into both our state and nation are critical components of Team South Carolina’s economic development strategy,” said Secretary of Commerce Bobby Hitt. “With approximately 1,200 international establishments currently operating and employing more than 115,000 workers within our borders, it’s clear that the strategy is working.”
The Palmetto State bested national semifinalists Indiana, North Carolina and California, which each won in their regions, according to a custom ranking by the magazine. South Carolina’s two largest FDI expansion projects came from Hong Kong-based Techtronic Industries with its $85 million, 216-job commitment to expand in Anderson, and Germany-based ZF Transmissions’ plans to invest $22.5 million and create 545 jobs in Gray Court.
Rankings were based on data collected between September 2013 and August 2015, while states were divided into geographic regions. Locations scored a maximum of 10 points for each data point, and each point was weighted to give overall scores. South Carolina ranked highest among each of the regional winners, taking first place in both the Southeastern conference and nationwide.
South Carolina also ranked first – ahead of runners-up Tennessee and Kentucky – for attracting jobs through foreign investment in the most recent annual IBM Plant Location International report, according to the state.