By Mike Graney
I recently returned from Europe on CRDA’s latest Business Development mission, where I met with eight companies in the aerospace, automotive, IT, and logistics sectors. These are target clusters as identified in the Charleston market’s five-year strategic plan, dubbed One Region: A Global Competitiveness Strategy.
As is often the case with global travel, I was in and out of planes, trains and automobiles – flying into Stuttgart and out of Geneva, enjoying a pretty train ride around Lake Geneva from Geneva to Bern, and logging 2,400 km in the car through the German and French countrysides. Utilizing this time in transit, I reflected on a key difference between locating a company in Europe versus the U.S.
In Europe, many companies are located in the rural countryside, seemingly away from population centers. In the U.S., the converse is typically true. Most of our job growth occurs in proximity to urban metro areas. In fact, the top 100 metros by population generate 75% of the U.S. GDP.
So, if you’re a European company considering entering the U.S. market, know that your best chance for finding a skilled labor pool and growth opportunities is by locating in metro areas. The three-county Charleston metro is fortunate to offer diverse real estate listings, including rural settings (for companies that need it) – all of which are serviced by infrastructure and are certified development-ready.
The CRDA can help you navigate the FDI (Foreign Direct Investment) process. Europe still provides over 80% of the inbound FDI into the U.S., so it remains a priority market. The CRDA looks to identify international firms which have a strong business case to be in Charleston | South Carolina and will enhance our key industry clusters.
If you represent an international or domestic firm with an interest in locating a facility in a growing U.S. region that is a “talent magnet,” please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Michael J. Graney
Vice President, Global Business Development
843.760.4526 | Michael Graney