SelectUSA Investment Summit Proves Imperative for Global Investment

Marlon Webb Senior Director, Regional Economic Development

With over 4,900 attendees, 83 international markets, and 55 US states and territories, the 2023 SelectUSA Investment Summit was the largest Investment Summit to date. The event provided opportunities for all in attendance to make meaningful, intentional connections that could ultimately lead to the next investment and innovation, especially within Central Indiana.

Summits like this can attract diverse participants, including investors, entrepreneurs, and representatives from various industries. Representatives from Central Indiana were able to engage with these individuals and identify potential business opportunities, attract investment, and promote economic growth for the entire region. The Indiana Economic Development Corporation provided great visibility for the State of Indiana through its planning and implementation of the Welcome Reception for all attendees at the National Museum of African American History and Culture, engagement at their exhibition booth, and Governor Holcomb’s remarks during the Workforce Development: Economic Prosperity and Job Creation panel discussion.

Throughout the summit, two key, influential legislations garnered a myriad of attention; the Creating Helpful Incentives to Produce Semiconductors and Science (CHIPS) Act and Inflation Reduction Act that Congress passed last year. These acts not only spurred conversation but also gave attendees insight into what future investment and innovation within the US could entail, especially given the number of potential foreign investors and businesses present at the Investment Summit.

This leads to a greater conversation surrounding the importance of foreign direct investment (FDI). FDI is a crucial component of many economies around the world. It refers to an investment made by a company or individual in one’s country into a business or community in another country. The goal is establishing a lasting interest and significant control over the foreign business or planting roots within a community through traditional business attraction efforts.

Several factors are essential for foreign direct investment:

  1. Political Stability: A stable political environment is essential for attracting foreign investment. Investors must be confident that the government will not engage in policies that harm their investments.
  2. Economic Policies: Investors need to be confident that the government has sound economic policies that will ensure stability and growth over the long term.
  3. Infrastructure: Developed infrastructure, such as transportation, telecommunications, and utilities, is vital to support business operations.
  4. Market Access: Investors will want to know they have access to a large and growing market for their products or services.
  5. Labor Force: A well-educated and trained workforce is essential for a foreign business to operate successfully in a new market.
  6. Legal and Regulatory Framework: A transparent legal and regulatory environment is essential for foreign investors, as it ensures that they will be treated fairly and can operate within the laws of the host country.

The Global Indy Business Center plays a significant role in economic development, innovation, and fostering entrepreneurial activities, making foreign direct investment more attainable for international businesses wanting to come to Central Indiana. Providing infrastructure and resources, Global Indy Business Center provides work and conference space in downtown Indianapolis designed for international companies headquartered overseas. The Business Center provides three to six months of access, including wraparound services to help tenants explore, understand and launch in the Indianapolis regional market.

Overall, a supportive business environment that provides a level playing field for all investors, both foreign and domestic, is essential for attracting and retaining foreign direct investment. It would be advantageous for community leaders throughout the Indy region to continue to foster and continue to be leaders in such a supportive business environment should Central Indiana want to capitalize on the potential investment and innovation that is coming down the pipeline, given the ease of opportunity Congress provided through both the CHIPS and Science and Inflation Reduction Acts.

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