North Carolina Economic Development Guide


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Lately we���ve had some companies relocate their headquarters to Charlotte. Charlotte Douglas International Airport was a critical part in landing them because their executives have to travel around the world to their plants and to visit their customers. Recently, we pulled together the various state functions governing infrastructure and decided investments will be made based on the greatest needs from a logistics and economic-development standpoint. It���s that kind of total-systems decision that���s an example of how we���re trying to keep ahead of the game. What���s the importance of international business to the state economy? Crisco: International business is very important to the state. It���s no accident that three of the companies represented in this discussion are internationally based and one is domestically based. Around 2000, foreign-direct investment was about 15% of new investment in North Carolina. It has averaged 25% the last three years. The state���s economy would be much different without international companies. They represent more than 500,000 jobs in North Carolina, with exports alone creating more than 350,000 jobs. I predict that foreign-direct investment and exports will be a bigger part of our economy down the road. We���re focusing on that and preparing for the future. How does the state support companies after they locate here? Crisco: I hope it���s apparent that not only did these four companies locate in North Carolina but that the state has an ongoing relationship with each of them. Our work is not just about recruiting businesses. If you���re already here, we want to work with you, too. Some existing companies have growth potential that makes them eligible for 60% or more of our whole incentive package. Maintaining those ongoing relationships gives companies one more reason to come to North Carolina. Kuhn: We���ve been in this state for more than 30 years, and for many of those North Carolina EDG years, we were stable. Then, all of a sudden, we had a lot of activity, and that brought new challenges. Looking back, the incentives were important, but I think even more so was everyone working together to meet some of our more unusual needs. We had a large piece of land for expansion, but new insurance regulations demanded a second egress, which it didn���t have. We worked with the state, town, county and { }

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