WASHINGTON—The National Governors Association (NGA) joined 10 governors at the SelectUSA Summit in Washington. SelectUSA is an annual event hosted by the U.S. Department of Commerce encouraging foreign direct investment in the United States. The meeting brings together policy leaders, business representatives and foreign dignitaries interested in partnering with American businesses.
More than 1,200 of the more than 3,000 attendees were international registrants, representing 66 markets. Representatives from 51 states and territories attended the summit, where officials announced for new investment projects valued at more than $600 million.
NGA Global, the international arm of NGA, attended the event alongside the participating governors. The governors had the opportunity to meet with Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross, ambassadors from more than 10 countries and other high-ranking business executives from around the world.
Secretary Ross highlighted the fact that attendance from governors was up this year – increasing from two last year to ten – and led the audience in a round of applause for the governors. He explained that the conference exists “to boost the growth and prospects of all business that invest in the United States.”
Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper acknowledged the advantage of the Summit, “If we do a good enough job and focus on the positive aspects of what we can do, what are the missing parts of investment in your countries, what are the different opportunities for investment in Colorado, we really can create a rising tide that raises all the ships.”
NGA Global co-hosted four events focusing on the role of governors in international diplomacy.
- At a breakfast with the State International Development Organizations, Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter joined SelectUSA leadership to discuss opportunities to continue to strengthen collaboration and promote foreign direct investment in the United States.
- NGA Global also co-hosted an Investment Forum with the Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency (KOTRA), where two governors, Korean embassy officials and KOTRA leadership listened to presentations by world-class international law firms and Korean companies on ways to expand trade and investment opportunities with Korea.
- Three governors attended a reception with the China General Chamber of Commerce, which featured remarks from U.S. Ambassador and former NGA Chair Terry Branstad and Secretary Ross about opportunities for U.S. companies in China and Chinese companies in the U.S.
- Ambassadors and the Deputy Chiefs of Mission from seven countries joined four governors at a dinner co-hosted with the German Marshall Fund of the United States on strengthening transatlantic relations.
Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin explained that he returned to SelectUSA for a second year because it offers “a target audience, an opportunity to speak to many different countries, many potential investors, lenders, a variety of people who had an interest in investing in the United States, potentially, and in specific states.”
Supporting the governors around SelectUSA is one of the many initiatives of NGA Global. Launched last February, NGA Global helps connect governors with the international business community.