North Carolina Economic Development Guide

2013

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Syngenta Basel, Switzerland-based Syngenta International AG���s 147,000-square-foot complex cost $71 million. Foreign direct investment continues to play a major role in the state���s economy. The state���s low unionization rate, climate, port access and convenient reach to millions of U.S. consumers attract global investment. 22 seem���), the tagline for its business community could well be ���We are the world.��� In 2010, North Carolina collected more than $1 billion in foreign direct investment across 86 projects, according to Site Selection magazine. The 12-county Charlotte region, already home to some 850 international companies, saw that year���s largest international investment when Siemens AB, the Germany-based energy giant, announced a $135 million project. Japanbased Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd., Sweden-based AB Electrolux and Austriabased Steinbauer Tuning Technologies Corp. are other global players that have made their way to the Queen City. The same qualities that make the state appealing to domestic companies also account for its popularity with foreign companies. ���This remains a tremendous state to do business in,��� says John Hunter, a lawyer in the Charlotte offce of WinstonSalem-based Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice LLP. A onetime business recruiter with the Charlotte Regional Partnership, he provides legal assistance to global companies seeking locations in the Southeast. North Carolina���s low unioniza- North Carolina Economic Development Guide tion rate, climate, port access and convenient reach to millions of American consumers attract global investment. Its geographic and demographic diversity allows foreign companies to operate in any corner of the state, depending on their requirements. ���If they need access to a port, there���s a compelling reason for them to locate near our coast. If the project will involve hiring hundreds of workers, they���ll likely want to be close to a metro area. ���Between the recruitment efforts under way at the [N.C.] Department of Commerce and the regional economic-development partnerships, we���re seeing a lot of resources going into international recruitment,��� Hunter says. As FDI pours freely across global markets ��� with the U.S. its largest recipient ��� the chase is on by states and nations to attract international business projects. In making their case to Syngenta, Tar Heel recruiters enjoyed substantial wind at their backs because the company already had large operations in the state. In addition to roughly 400 workers at Syngenta Biotech���s existing Triangle site, the company���s crop-protection business employs about 600 in Greensboro, home to the unit���s North American headquarters. Foreign companies bring dividends beyond construction dollars and hefty payrolls. They draw talented professionals from around the world to their North Carolina operations and provide a progressive array of benefts designed to keep employees happy and productive. Workers at Syngenta, for example, enjoy access to free medical exams and mobilehealth screenings, as well as incentives for ftness training. North Carolina went right to the top to court Syngenta. In 2010, while on a recruiting mission to Europe, Gov. Beverly Perdue and Commerce Secretary Keith Crisco visited its global headquarters in Basel. The two ���built close relationships with our decision-makers and made sure they understood that North Carolina cares about our business and our culture,��� Goldsmith says. ���Those relationships and

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