By Kathy Phlegar
Crowding into the train at the station in Dusseldorf, Germany, the global diversity of those headed to Medica, the world’s leading medical industry trade fair, was evident. While not speaking the same language, we all had the same goal…Connection!
Our Charleston team traveled to MEDICA to make connections with life sciences companies interested in establishing a U.S. presence – a key component of our region’s global economic development strategy.
Across 17 different buildings, “The Messe” housed 4000+ medical companies. A sea of activity, the halls were abuzz with demonstrations of new products, meetings between companies and their customers, and receptions sponsored by country delegations and trade associations. Over the four-day trade fair, the Charleston Regional Development Alliance met with 25 different companies and trade organizations, sharing why South Carolina is a phenomenal place to do business, and learning more about the companies interested in establishing a presence here.
Our meetings spanned the spectrum from biotech, to pharma to medtech… all at various stages in the decision process of establishing a U.S. footprint. Memorable moments included showing company representatives a graphic of the State with international flags signifying the presence of foreign companies and watching their eyes light up as they realized they would not be alone in choosing South Carolina.
After learning South Carolina ranks #1 for foreign direct investment per capita, many companies wanted to understand more about the opportunities here. In fact, the presence of Boeing, Bosch, Volvo, and Mercedes-Benz Vans in our market, helped European CEOs understand that considering Charleston is a smart move.
Throughout the week, excitement about the Charleston region as a location was high and representing our state with foreign delegations was an honor. We are excited to continue building these connections and helping grow the life sciences sector in Charleston | South Carolina.