Upstate Ranks High for Overseas Investors


Brookings/JPMorgan Chase report shows 10 percent of regional jobs are in foreign-owned enterprises


Among the largest 100 metropolitan areas, Greenville ranks 23rd for share of jobs in foreign-owned enterprises at 6.1 percent, according to a recent report.

As part of its Global Cities Initiative, the Brookings Institution allied with JPMorgan Chase for the first-ever metro-level study of foreign direct investment in the Upstate’s regional economy. The report analyzes the types of foreign-owned businesses located in the area, outlines the region’s sources of foreign investment and demonstrates the number of jobs supported locally by foreign direct investment.

Screen Shot 2014-06-25 at 11.47.53 AMSupporting millions of jobs across every economic sector throughout the country, foreign-owned businesses are an important component of the U.S. economy, said John Lummus, president and CEO of the Upstate SC Alliance.

“This report gives the Upstate region a key resource to demonstrate the impact foreign direct investment has on our regional economy,” he said.

Double the national average and supported by the Upstate’s high concentration of foreign direct investment, 10.6 percentof the region’s jobs are in foreign-owned enterprises.
SCInternationalCombined, Anderson, Gaffney, Greenville, Greenwood, Seneca, Spartanburg and Union housed 50,600 jobs in foreign-owned enterprises during 2011.

According to the Brookings report, the benefits of foreign direct investment extend beyond the millions of jobs supported. While metro areas have traditionally focused on attracting greenfield investment, the new data shows that most foreign direct investment enters regions through mergers and acquisitions, and in the average year, they account for 87 percent of all foreign direct investment inflows into the United States.

The report allows U.S. metro areas to better grasp foreign direct investment sources and their impact on local economies, said Brad McDearman, Brookings fellow and director of metro trade and investment.

As part of the Global Cities Initiative, the Upstate of South Carolina is at the forefront of U.S. metro areas seeking to position themselves as more globally fluent and competitive regions by developing a regional global trade and investment plan, he said.


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