Greater Mankato was again on the global stage recently during the Select USA Investment Summit in Washington, D.C.
This is a yearly gathering of leading policy experts, government officials, investors and companies from around the world looking for opportunities.
Greater Mankato was there along with the state’s Department of Employment and Economic Development and a handful of other regional representatives pitching the state and our respective regions.
These sessions are important to maintain contact and network. Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) is responsible for 14 million jobs, direct and indirect with $60 billion invested in research and development in the U.S.
Highlights included meeting Japan’s ambassador to the United States and expressing our appreciation for Nidec’s investment with Kato Engineering helping our region maintain and grow one of the iconic manufacturing plants in Greater Mankato.
Besides Nidec, the region has other global connections including Belgium (Mico), Canada (Davisco, Creation Technologies, Alliance Pipeline, Schwickert’s Tecta), Denmark (Coloplast), France (Viking Electric Supply), Ireland (SMC/OMG), Germany (Aldi’s), Japan (Tires Plus) and United Kingdom (MTU Onsite Energy, Ferguson Enterprises and Holiday Inn Express).
Other highlights included meeting contacts from China, Korea, Japan, Israel, Austria as well as other trade delegates that wanted to know more about us. It also was a great opportunity reintroduce the region to our own trade representatives and remind them about the merits of Greater Mankato.
There also was the chance to learn more about trends occurring globally and at home especially the emerging entrepreneurial market worldwide, the state of affairs in manufacturing and food & beverage industry (think AI and robotics), and the emphasis on investing in rural America (not all tech firms are in California).
To that last point, there are significant movements to help rural America grow especially in entrepreneurial efforts and technology. Companies like the rural U.S. because of the low turnover, high outdoor recreation opportunities, short commutes and access to educated workforce in many locales. As an example, Bozeman, Montana, is now a booming tech town. Manufacturing and technology sectors see transferable skills in farming and from veterans.
And organizations are cropping up that are emphasizing rural entrepreneurship as the building block for saving rural areas undergoing the effects of regionalism.
Contacts we made at Select USA are being referred to various businesses and local government contacts for further discussion and followup. And it was clear that despite the angst in world politics today, there is a still a hunger across the globe to grow and expand business.