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What is FDI?

     Unless you work in international business or foreign relations, you probably have no idea what these three letters mean. Here's a quick lesson. F-D-I stands for foreign direct investment. Basically, it's an investment made by a company or person in one country (say, South Africa) in business interests in another country (say, the U.S.). It's usually in the form of either establishing new business operations or acquiring business assets.
     Worldwide, the U.S. is still the largest recipient of FDI, while nationwide, California tops the list. That means more foreigners are investing in business in the U.S. than in any other country in the world (China is second.) The finance sector dominates foreign investment, but manufacturing, IT, healthcare, real estate, and telecommunications are also attracting foreign dollars. There are many reasons why investors are drawn to the U.S., but primary among them are: (1) we have one of the most open markets and investment climates in the world, and (2) we have an entrepreneurial culture of innovation and risk taking. That would also explain why California is the most attractive state for FDI.
     Why is FDI so important to the U.S. economy? Well, foreign investment builds new factories, funds research and development, and employs 6.4 million Americans in well-paying jobs.
(Organization for International Investment, 2016 Report). Average salary for FDI jobs is $80,000, compared to the national average of $60,000.
     While you might think this has nothing to do with you, think again. FDI isn't just for big business, like oil and gas giant, Shell (a Dutch company), and multi-million dollar EB-5 investors. Your neighborhood European bakery, that Brazilian online crafts shop you like to buy from, and that Greek restaurant down the street may have been started by foreigners with less than a $100,000 investment on an E-2 visa.
     Just for fun, here are a few companies you might not have guessed are now foreign owned:
  • American Beverage Corporation (Dutch)
  • Anheuser-Busch/Budweiser (Belgian)
  • Trader Joe's (German)
  • Ben & Jerry's, Breyer's, and Good Humor (British-Dutch)
  • French's Mustard (no, not French, it's British!)
  • Frigidaire (Swedish)
  • Reebok (German)
Foreign Direct Investment
in California
    As the world’s 9th largest global economy, California is a magnet for foreign investment. California received 28% of all FDI in the U.S., over $119 billion, in 2015.
    According to the Organization for International Investment, just 8 countries accounted for about 80% of the stock of foreign direct investment in the U.S. through 2014. More than 170 other countries represented the remainder. Here's a chart that shows which countries are investing in the U.S.


Global Business Resources 
The U.S. Department of State Country Commercial Guides are an excellent resource for country commercial environments, with in depth economic, political, and market analyses. They are prepared annually by the U.S. embassies with the assistance of several U.S. government agencies.
Learn more here.
The USCIS is a government agency that oversees lawful immigration to the U.S. The agency website provides helpful information on immigration rules, visa options and processes, and citizenship benefits. 
Learn more here.
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THIS WEEK
Visa Options for International Entrepreneurs
Thursday, November 10
Redding, CA
Learn about the range of visas available to foreign national entrepreneurs, professionals, and students who wish to live and work in the U.S.

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San Francisco - Hear about the major changes in policy, regulations and technology that are disrupting business as usual among utilities in both the U.S. and China.

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Entrepreneur 360 Conference
November 16
Long Beach - Join hundreds of entrepreneurs at this annual conference for independent thinkers, company leaders, and industry innovators.
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West Coast Trade & Working Capital Conference
November 17

San Jose - Trade finance experts will discuss how global markets have impacted trade, provide an update on capital needs and discuss how the elections are impacting exports.
Save 15% by using code: 
NORCALWTC15
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California-Mexico Trade & Investment Summit
November 17
Redding - GO-Biz and ProMéxico will discuss California-Mexico cross border relations as part of Governor Brown’s 2014 Trade & Investment Agreement with Mexico, highlighting the North State’s distinct assets which offer trade and investment opportunities for businesses in both countries.

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Almond Conference
December 6-8
Sacramento - T
he largest event for almond industry professionals in the world, come to connect with the people, science, products and trends at the forefront of the global almond community.

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Jobs and Internships
International Sales Manager. Aero Precision.
Livermore, CA
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Interpreter. International Rescue Committee.
Sacramento, CA

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Key Account Manager - Mexico and Export. Medela.

Any Major City
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