In so many areas, the Puget Sound region punches above its weight. But we’re only so-so when it comes to attracting foreign direct investment. That’s one conclusion from a report by the Brookings Institution that was released today.
The share of jobs at U.S. subsidiaries of foreign companies in Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue was 4.7 percent in 2011, the year surveyed. By comparison, the similar sized Minneapolis attracted 5 percent and the smaller metro area of Denver showed 4.9 percent. In the average large metro, foreign direct investment (FDI) supports 5.5 percent of employment.
Between 1991 and 2011, metro Seattle saw its FDI grow by 63 percent — but that is still below the national average.
Local leaders are aware of the shortfall, and opportunity, and are crafting strategies to attract more FDI. We’re part of a Brookings pilot program on the issue, led by the Trade Development Alliance of Greater Seattle and the Economic Development Council of Seattle and King County.
To be sure, we have it pretty good, with a more diversified economy than most metros. And high FDI numbers in some metros, especially smaller ones, represent efforts to lure big foreign plants to offset losses from other industries, such as textiles. Still, there’s no excuse for being below Detroit and Buffalo.
You can read the report here and see how other cities perform on an interactive map. Metro Portland’s jobs connected to FDI was 4.8 percent and Boise was 2.8 percent.
This Week’s Links:
• Paul Krugman: Does Geithner pass the test? | NY Review of Books
• Google investing $50 to get girls to code | The Verge
• Amazon sets fire to its money losing business plan | Bloomberg View
• Why we’re all crony capitalists, like it or not | NY Times
• More finance, more crises | Triple Crisis
Today’s Econ Haiku:
It’s been five years now
They call it recovery