The AEP Economic & Business Development Team participated in the 5th annual SelectUSA Investment Summit June 20-22nd, 2018 in Washington, D.C. Hosted by the U.S. Department of Commerce, SelectUSA was created to invite and encourage potential foreign investment to the United States. This year, over 1,200 international firm attendees from 66 countries and more than 700 economic development organization representatives from all 50 states attended. Participants at the first four Investment Summits have announced nearly $93 billion in greenfield foreign direct investment (FDI) into the United States, supporting more than 140,000 U.S. jobs (Source: SelectUSA).
As with previous years, several members from our corporate and operating company teams participated in the event. Across dozens of meetings and receptions, the group worked in tandem with state and regional partners to develop new – and strengthen existing – relationships aimed at bringing jobs and investment to our 11-state service territory.
Recent economic development successes in two of our states were highlighted at the event:
- Italy-based Sofidel re-announced their most recent greenfield investment in our Oklahoma service territory, where the company is making a $360M investment in Inola, OK to build a new tissue manufacturing plant that will create 300 full-time jobs. Sofidel announced its first U.S. greenfield investment in 2016, which is also in an AEP community in Circleville, Ohio.
- JSW Steel, India’s leading steel company has proposed an investment of up to $500M to acquire and upgrade Acero Junction Inc., an integrated steel manufacturing unit in Mingo Junction, OH. JSW initially will spend $250M to restart the electric arc furnace and refurbish the hot strip mill and slab caster. If market conditions support it, a second phase expansion is planned.
Additionally, the U.S. Department of Commerce released the Foreign Investment in the Rural United States report, focusing on the positive impacts of FDI in rural areas of the United States. The projects have a greater impact than those in metro areas, and although there are fewer their average value is $64.5M (89% higher than metro areas) and they create more jobs on a per project basis. This is particularly relevant to AEP’s predominantly rural service territory, and the aforementioned projects are examples of how many industries are attracted to the benefits non-metro areas can offer.
Our team will continue to participate in events like the SelectUSA Investment Summit to help connect our communities with new FDI opportunities. For more information on how AEPED can help your community, please contact me or your local economic development manager.
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