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South Carolina clinches magazine’s national title for foreign investment

February 16, 2016

South Carolina clinches magazine’s national title for foreign investment colanews@scbiznews.com Feb. 16, 2016

South Carolina has been recognized by fDI Magazine as the top state for foreign direct investment. “While University of Alabama snatched victory from Clemson University on the football field, South Carolina is taking home the trophy where FDI (foreign direct investment) is concerned,” the magazine reported. National-Championship-Semi-Finalists Source: fDI Magazine "The fact that South Carolina continues to lead the nation in foreign direct investment, speaks to everything we have to offer as a premier destination for business," Gov. Nikki Haley said in commenting on the award.

To determine the inaugural fDi National Champion, data was collected on foreign direction investment projects in the United States between September 2014 and August 2015, the S.C. Department of Commerce said.

The magazine divided the country into four areas with South Carolina, North Carolina, Indiana and California emerging as regional champs. To win the fDi national title, South Carolina scored the highest of all four states on FDI expansions, per capita. South Carolina landed the highest number of foreign direct investment and interstate investment projects on a per capita basis, the magazine added.

Additionally, the state attracted the highest number of foreign expansion projects on a per capita basis. The magazine reported that 57% of foreign investment projects in South Carolina were expansions of existing facilities, and another 43% were greenfield projects. The largest expansion announcement during the 12-month stretch was made by Hong Kong-based Techtronic Industries, which announced plans to invest $85 million and create 216 jobs at its manufacturing and distribution facility in Anderson. ZF Friedrichshafen, headquartered in Germany, ranked second with an announcement to invest $22.5 million and create 545 jobs at its manufacturing and warehouse operation in Gray Court.

Bringing jobs and investment from overseas-based companies as well as those headquartered in the United States is a critical piece of 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," Hitt added. fDi Magazine is a publication of fDi Intelligence, a division of the Financial Times Ltd.