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Obama announces first federal efforts to draw foreign investment

Source : IANS
Last Updated: Fri, Nov 01, 2013 02:00 hrs

Washington, Nov 1 (IANS) US President Barack Obama Thursday announced first-ever coordinated federal efforts to attract foreign investment and bolster economic recovery.

"I'm proud to announce that I'm expanding and enhancing SelectUSA to create the first-ever, fully coordinated US government effort to recruit businesses to invest and create new jobs in the United States," reported Xinhua citing Obama here at the SelectUSA 2013 Investment Summit.

The Obama administration created SelectUSA two years ago as part of a US government-wide initiative to promote foreign direct investment (FDI) in the US.

However, the sluggish economic recovery, political, fiscal and regulatory uncertainty in the US has made foreign companies scale back investments in the largest economy.

FDI inflows in the US declined to $166 billion in 2012, down 28 percent from the previous year, according to a report released Thursday by the White House.

FDI inflows may edge down further this year, as a 16-day federal government shutdown starting Oct 1 has raised concerns about the US ability to manage its economy, rattled global financial markets, and dampened consumer and business confidence.

To reverse the trend of declining FDI inflows, Obama outlined a series of measures at the federal level to bring foreign companies to invest in the United States.

Firstly, attracting foreign investment will be a priority for US ambassadors. Secondly, officials at the highest levels, including the president, will do more to make the case for investing in the US. Thirdly, companies that want to invest in the US will be given a single point of contact at the federal level to cut through red tape.

Finally, the administration will help states, cities, regions across the US to directly connect with potential investors.

The SelectUSA 2013 Investment Summit attracted about 1200 participants, including more than 630 foreign companies from nearly 60 countries and regions as well as local officials from the US.

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