Secret from 042: Creating A Foreign Direct Investment Strategy

This month’s podcast special guest is Shelby Glover Zaricor, Director of Business Development at the Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce. She shares their foreign direct investment (FDI) strategy:

We have over 50 companies that represent about 20 countries currently that call Mobile home, and we are just so proud of that. We have a very strong German and French presence here, and we want to continue to grow that. We’re very fortunate in Mobile that companies just come here. They want to locate here, and so there wasn’t really a strategy until we put a strategy in place. This is what this foreign direct investment study is going to do. It’s saying, okay, these are your existing companies; these are your strong industries: aerospace, upstream chemical distribution, upstream metals. Those are four really strong areas that we’ve identified are strong in Mobile and that have very strong foreign direct investment potential. Taking those four groups and then saying, what countries are looking to have a North American presence within those industries?

Then taking it a step further that, okay, so Japan was one that really came out as a front runner with aerospace in chemical and metals. Then, once we figured that out, then we start targeting Japan. What organizations and companies in Japan do we need to target? What partnerships could we target within Japan? Be that JASA, which is the Japanese Alabama group or etc, things like that. We want our existing foreign direct investment to grow, so marketing them to external partners as in, this company’s in Mobile and may have the potential of exporting to XYZ company. But then, also taking a step further and saying this country has the opportunity of looking at Mobile for specific companies. It’s all so brand new and we’re still trying to get our hands around it, but it’s something that will be a high priority for our team going into 2020.

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