Best Practices in Foreign Direct Investment and Exporting Based on Regional Industry Clusters Page Heading

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FDI Best Practices Home Page

In the current global economic environment, international relationships are critical to state, regional, and local communities seeking to ensure the diversification and health of their economic base. The attraction of foreign direct investment (FDI) and the development of export opportunities are necessary components of economic growth. Economic development practitioners need to understand ways to harness their resources more effectively to attract FDI and develop their export potential.  This project profiles several useful examples for local communities that may want to introduce initiatives to promote exporting and FDI or already have launched such initiatives and want to make them more effective. 

These practices are located in various regions of the United States, with several clustered in the Midwest.  In addition, the practices involve diverse parts of the world with several having connections in Europe, Asia, and Latin America. Canada also figures prominently in several of the cases.  Many of the practices target multiple global regions while some target a particular country.

Linkage of exporting and FDI to an existing cluster or target industry is a prominent feature of the profiled practices. These cases illustrate the central role of clusters in exporting and FDI across a range of industries, from electronics and bioscience to agriculture and automotive manufacturing.

Finally, each case has a particular strategic orientation.  Some of the practices explicitly involve trade missions, including reverse trade missions.  Other cases involve consideration given to facilities and infrastructure to accommodate the exporting or FDI practice. Although FDI and exporting are often viewed as involving large multinational firms, several practices involve international soft landings.  Other practices include the use of Web-based portals and training focused on FDI or exporting related to the target industry.

To explore these cases, we have developed a tool kit which can be accessed by clicking on the “case studies” tab above.