Foreign Direct Investment Opportunities Sought Out in Washington D.C.

Promoting the Rockford Region Through Foreign Direct Investment Opportunities

Foreign Direct Investment - SelectUSAThe Rockford Area Economic Development Council (RAEDC) represented the Rockford Region in the Illinois Department of Commerce booth at the 2017 SelectUSA Investment Summit in Washington DC from June 18 – 20.

The SelectUSA Investment Summit connects economic development organizations with investors from all over the globe looking to create partnerships or expand into the United States. This year more than 2,800 international business investors, economic development organizations (EDOs), and stakeholders met during the three-day summit. EDOs representing 51 U.S. states and territories met with decision-making investors from over 60 international markets.

Nathan Bryant, president and chief executive officer at the RAEDC was with the Illinois Department of Commerce’s exhibition booth connecting with international businesses looking to expand or relocate their business into areas like the Rockford Region.

“We attend summits, conferences, and tradeshows like SelectUSA to meet with businesses who are actively seeking locations to expand or relocate into. One of our key advantages is the region’s skilled workforce and our nimble education-to-workforce pipelines developed to support industries already located here,” says Bryant. “Businesses want to know they can find established supply chains and a cost-effective location to conduct business, in an area that has the logistical support to move their product.”

During the three-day event Bryant met with several European advanced manufacturing and aerospace companies to discuss the benefits of locating in the Rockford Region including the newly launched Qualified Sites Program (QSP), the highly skilled workforce, the strong aerospace supply chain, the advanced manufacturing capabilities, in addition to ideal logistics and the benefits of Foreign Trade Zone #176.

Attracting investors and businesses to the Rockford Region through Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) opportunities takes time. The average time from the start of a project to the completion is 329 days. Participation in trade shows such as this, are critical to promoting the area as a region of opportunity. Through events such as Select USA Investment Summit, the RAEDC and our economic development partners and stakeholders cultivate opportunities to create and retain sticky jobs.


The Summit is the highest-profile event that promotes foreign direct investment (FDI) in the United States. It provides an opportunity to bring together companies from all over the world, economic development organizations from every corner of the nation, others working to facilitate investment in the United States, and high-level government officials. Participants can find the practical tools, information, and connections they need to move investments forward.



The role of the Rockford Area Economic Development Council (RAEDC) is to collaborate with regional stakeholders to cultivate opportunities for primary job growth that increase the economic well-being of our region. The RAEDC markets the region to attract new capital investment, while assisting existing business with resources for sustainable growth. The RAEDC works closely with many partners to improve the competitiveness of the region by taking what it learns from the region’s employers and engaging the community in the daily work of economic development. As the economic development organization for the region, the RAEDC also serves as the area’s data collection agency on all new capital investment, retained and created quality jobs, and renovated commercial/industrial space.

Erin Marshall
Communications and Marketing Coordinator, RAEDC