Economic Development

Foreign Direct Investment Attraction Strategy

We Understand Foreign Investment: Our foreign direct investment (FDI) director (Ms. Hoori Khandani) is on the International Economic Development Council’s international advisory committee. She is an attorney that is also well versed in immigration, economic development, US corporate law, international law, and international trade and finance. She recently spoke at the International Economic Development Council’s annual conference on economic development organizations attracting foreign direct investment.

Foreign direct investment, or FDI, is essential for the success of any economic development policy. The United States is the largest recipient of FDI in the world because foreign investors are enticed by its business-friendly environment and quality of life considerations, available technology, supply chain, infrastructure, and workforce factors.

In return for creating such an amenable environment, the U.S. benefits with economic growth and prosperity, creating highly compensated jobs, spurring innovation, and driving exports. The numbers show that 7.4 million American workers are employed by U.S. affiliates of foreign-owned businesses, 2.5 million manufacturing jobs. Source: U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis  

Foreign companies previously exporting to the U.S. to serve its vast consumer market may be worried about restrictions on their exports or future disruptions to the supply chain — in which case they would seek to set up U.S. operationsSource Area Development 

Attracting Foreign Direct Investment Through “Soft-Landings” Initiatives:
Effective Facilitation: Effective facilitation is important when the investor needs to secure permits, licenses, and approvals to establish operations in the country. The IPA (Investment Promotion Agency) plays a key role in assisting investors to facilitate their projects. Many IPAs) have established a “one-stop-shop” to provide all the approvals and clearances needed.

A professional services team can include:

  • An international tax professional
  • A U.S. tax professional to analyze U.S. federal and state tax issues
  • A corporate lawyer to incorporate the entity and draft legal contracts and agreements
  • An insurance professional to obtain business liability and workers’ compensation coverage
  • A banker for financing and banking needs
  • A trade and tariff advisor
  • A location selection consultant
  • A real estate professional
  • A visa attorney

In the quest to attract foreign direct investment, some economic development organizations are providing soft landing services.


  • Florida launched a first-of-its-kind program to bring foreign investors into the state. The initiative is a “soft landing” program to prepare foreign companies for entry into the U.S. market within Florida. Venture Bridge Florida
  • To help non-U.S. companies establish their business in North America, the Richardson Texas Economic Development Partnership (REDP) has created a unique program providing expert resources to ease critical business startup issues and assist firms in locating to Richardson, Texas.  Lawrence Howorth, Director, Mayor’s Office of International Business. 
  • The Greater Richmond Virginia Partnership, Inc. Global Assistance Program is a one-stop shop designed to provide these essential connections for firms exploring opportunities in the U.S. market. Our roster of referral partners and experienced professionals have a proven track record with international businesses.