South Carolina, fDi’s inaugural national champion and winner of the Southeast conference, attracted the highest number of FDI projects and interstate investments on a per capita basis. The state also attracted the highest number of FDI expansion projects on a per capita basis. Fifty-seven percent of investment projects into South Carolina were expansions of existing facilities, while 43% were new greenfield investments. The largest expansions in the 12-month period came from Hong Kong-based Techtronic Industries, which announced plans to expand its manufacturing and distribution facility in Anderson, investing $85m and creating 216 jobs, and Germany’s ZF Friedrichshafen, which announced plans to expand its manufacturing and warehouse operations in Gray Court, investing $22.5m and creating 545 jobs. 

Indiana was the winner of the Midwest conference, and scored 95.43 points to come second in fDi’s National Championship final. Indiana attracted the highest number of FDI and interstate expansion projects on a per capita basis of all final states. In total, 45% of the investment projects in Indiana between September 2014 and August 2015 were expansion projects. Michigan-based General Motors announced expansion plans for its manufacturing facility in Fort Wayne in May 2015. With a total investment of $1.5bn, the expansion is the largest in the state in the 12-month period, and was facilitated by $5.5m in support grants from the state’s Industrial Development Grant Fund for training and infrastructure.

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National Championship Semi-Finalists

North Carolina, winner of the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic conference, came third, with 79.17 points. The state attracted the highest number of FDI and interstate expansion projects of all four states in the final. In July 2015, Metal Works Manufacturing, a subsidiary of Nebraska-based Universal Manufacturing, expanded its office in Shelby. The company attributed its expansion plans to the success it had previously in the state, saying: “We have been very impressed with the North Carolina workforce.”

Denmark’s Novo Nordisk invested in two expansion projects, increasing the size of its manufacturing site in September 2014 and expanding its office space to incorporate the relocation of its US headquarters in August 2015. Canada-based Linamar, a precision metallic components company, expanded two of its manufacturing facilities in the state – its plant at Wilson in September, which created 125 jobs, and its plant at Arden in October, which created 150 new jobs.

California, winner of the West & Mountain conference, proved its abilities in the playoff round and managed 66.54 points in the final. The state attracted the highest number of FDI and interstate projects between September 2014 and August 2015 of all four states in the final. The state is an attractive location for potential investors for a multitude of reasons. In August 2015, SignalShare, a subsidiary of New York-based Signal Point Holdings, opened an office in San Jose, stating that “San Jose puts the company at the epicentre of today’s emerging technologies, where we will be surrounded by other high-growth tech companies”.

The presence of a huge technology sector is a draw for like-minded and forward-thinking investors. The San Francisco Bay area, in particular, houses a large portion of the technology sector in the US and is drawing major investment. In July 2015, Australian telecoms company Megaport established its US headquarters in San Francisco. At the time, the company noted that “in the US, there is a certain gravitas that comes from being located in the Bay Area. As a software-driven networking company it made a lot of strategic sense for us to be there.”

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