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Foreign direct investments are down in the U.S., small in Idaho.

Byline: Sharon Fisher

Foreigndirect investments to acquire, establish, or expand U.S. businesses hit $259.6 billion in 2017, down 32 percent from $379.7 billion in 2016, according to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA).<br />In Idaho, total first-year expenditures were $35 million in 2017, compared with $3 million in 2014, the last available value, said Amanda Budny, chief of the newforeigninvestmentsection of the direct transactions and positions branch in the directinvestmentdivision of the BEA, in the U.S. Department of Commerce.<br />In fact, the BEA wasn't able to release additional figures for Idaho, because the organization is required to protect the identity of individual companies, and there were too few investments for that to be possible, said Jeannine Aversa, chief of public affairs and outreach for the BEA. "All other values in the row, including total planned expenditures for all transactions, for Idaho are displayed as (D), which means BEA needed to suppress that value to avoid disclosure of individual company data," Budny said.<br />"A (D) on a dollar value table does not indicate relative size of the suppressed value," she added.<br />The Idaho Department of Commerce said it was satisfied with the numbers.<br />"We view cultivatingforeigndirectinvestmentin a longer-term context, not on a year-over-year basis," said Matt Borud, chief marketing and innovation officer for the department. "Recruitingforeigndirectinvestmentis an effort that has been growing over the last several years, with success stories like NewCold, Sakae Casting, and others coming to fruition recently. Relationships are important in all projects, but they're especially important in FDI projects and building those relationships may take more time than an average domestic project. We're excited about the traction that is building."<br />International companies that have invested in Idaho include Canada-based McCain Foods, France-based Materne Industries, and Ireland-based Glanbia Foods. Other international companies expanding in Idaho include Lactalis (France), Bayer (Germany), GrainCorp (Australia), Sakae Casting (Japan), and eCobalt (Canada), according to the Department of Commerce.<br />In June, the state sent a large delegation to the 2018 SelectUSA Investment Summit in Washington, D.C., which was intended to showcase the state to potential international investors with the goal of increasing foreign direct investment in Idaho. This was the fifth year a statewide delegation has attended the summit, and the NewCold investment was announced at the time.<br />The Idaho delegation included Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter and representatives from Idaho Commerce, Idaho State Department of Agriculture, Idaho Senate, Idaho Dairymen's Association, Dairy West, Regional Economic Development for Eastern Idaho (REDI), Southern Idaho Economic Development Organization (SIEDO), Great Rift Business Development, Bannock Development, City of Ammon, City of Rupert, City of Twin Falls, City of Burley, City of Jerome, Idaho Power, Idaho National Laboratory and University of Idaho.

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Publication:Idaho Business Review
Geographic Code:1U8ID
Date:Jul 20, 2018
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