A delegation from the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, Intersect Illinois, and 17 economic development partners represented Illinois at the 2021 virtual SelectUSA Investment Summit hosted by the U.S. Department of Commerce. These “Team Illinois” representatives met with global companies attending the summit, which ran from June 7-11, highlighting the state’s advantages for foreign direct investment (FDI).
Team Illinois aims to facilitate job-creating investment by recruiting global companies to the state. An estimated 3,000 attendees from over 75 countries were present at this year’s summit, offering the State and its partners an ideal opportunity to network with companies and create new pathways to investment opportunities.
“Illinois continues to be a leader in attracting international company investments, thanks to our talented workforce, diverse and growing economy, and the ingenuity and innovation of businesses that call our state home,” said Governor JB Pritzker. “FDI is crucial to our local economy, with over 2,000 foreign-based companies propelling hundreds of thousands of jobs for communities across the state and making Illinois a leader in FDI employment. In spite of the pandemic, we’ve welcomed hundreds of new FDI investments in the past year, and we continue to support our global partners with making investments here. On behalf of Team Illinois, we are proud to participate in this year’s Summit and to help more global companies build a bright future here.”
The 8th annual SelectUSA Investment Summit convenes Governors and state delegations from across the country, to promote the United States as the world’s premier investment destination, connecting qualified foreign firms with U.S. economic development organizations (EDOs) to facilitate business investment and job creation. This year’s summit included a keynote address from President Biden and remarks from U.S. Department of Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo.
While the SelectUSA Summit did not occur in 2020 due to the pandemic during the last Summit held in Washington D.C. in 2019, the Illinois delegation participated in over 175 meetings with foreign companies interested in investing in Illinois.
“The SelectUSA Investment Summit has served as the launch pad for so many successful partnerships, Illinois included,” said Secretary Raimondo. “For nine years in a row, the U.S. has been ranked number one for foreign business investment. We thank Governor Pritzker for his participation, and look forward to welcoming the Illinois delegation.”
Team Illinois partners attending this year’s summit include:
- Illinois Office of Trade and Investment
- Intersect Illinois
- Alliance STL
- Bloomington-Normal EDC
- Champaign County EDC
- Chicago Southland EDC
- Choose DuPage
- Economic Development Corporation of Decatur- Macon County
- Greater Peoria EDC
- Growth Dimensions (Belvidere-Boone County)
- Invest Aurora
- Lake County Partners
- Leadership Council of Southwestern Illinois
- North Central Illinois EDC
- Quad Cities Chamber
- Rockford Area EDC
- Will County Center for Economic Development
“Under Governor Pritzker’s leadership, and despite the pandemic, foreign-based companies continue to choose Illinois for growth and expansion plans due to our significant advantages,” said Margo Markopoulos, Deputy Director of the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, Office of Trade and Investment. “With expert staff here and on the ground in six countries, we guide companies to successfully invest in Illinois, and then provide ongoing, coordinated support to help them continue to grow and flourish.”
Foreign direct investment (FDI) is crucial to the state’s economy, with over 2,000 foreign based companies representing over 74 countries directly supporting over 375,000 jobs. This makes Illinois the 5th in the nation for FDI employment. Last year alone, Illinois welcomed 329 new investments, powering major projects in the fields of software and IT services, business and financial services, and industrial equipment, among others. Illinois’ sprawling global presence includes strong relationships with top FDI countries, including the United Kingdom, Germany, Japan, Canada, and France.
Delegates promote a wide variety of Illinois communities for business investment while highlighting the state’s assets including its modern transportation infrastructure, talented and diverse workforce, easy access to key suppliers, markets and customers, as well as its supportive business climate and vibrant geography.
“SelectUSA is one of the highest profile events dedicated to foreign direct investment in the United States, a powerful and effective way for us to show global companies all that Illinois has to offer,” said Alya Adamany Woods, acting CEO and COO of Intersect Illinois. “By bringing together Team Illinois, we are showcasing the diverse industries and communities that make Illinois unique and what makes the state an ideal location for a wide variety of investment.”
On June 10, Governor Pritzker hosted a fireside chat at the Summit, joined by the CEO of InnovaFeed, the French agriculture technology company that announced plans to locate its U.S. operations in Illinois last year. Learn more about the Investment Summit at www.selectusasummit.us