By the BF Staff
From the September/October 2018 Issue
BF: What is Ohio’s strategy to become a top-tier U.S. destination of choice for foreign direct investment?
AD: First, Ohio is not just another state pitching its virtues. Yes, we start with creating awareness of our state’s business climate and assets, but the most important thing we do is create company specific solutions to enter the U.S. market. Companies should see JobsOhio as their “bridge” to the American market.
BF: Do major global players who already are operating facilities in Ohio assist in recruiting other foreign companies to invest in the state? For example, has Ohio’s long association with Honda resulted in Japanese auto parts suppliers setting up shop in Ohio?
AD: Yes, absolutely. We look at FDI in two ways—first, “outside in” pure attraction deals and second, “inside-out” opportunities where we partner with existing foreign-owned companies to bring their partners and supply chains to Ohio.
BF: As a nonprofit company with a private funding stream and an independent board, JobsOhio has a unique business model for an EDO, one designed for continuity and long-term stability. Stability is a top priority for many foreign investors. Has the JobsOhio business model been a major asset in the competition for incoming FDI?
AD: JobsOhio has a dedicated funding stream of private dollars that allows us to be flexible when addressing a company’s needs. Against that backdrop, one of our mantras is “see more, win more, close more deals,” so we are definitely on offense in terms of business attraction. In terms of outcomes, Ohio is gaining market share in economic development and recently, a survey conducted by Development Counselors International named JobsOhio the 3rd best economic development organization in the country.
BF: Ohio recently took a leadership position in support of emerging blockchain-based businesses by adopting legislation recognizing the use of blockchain technology to transmit and store electronic records in a broad range of industries. Does embracing blockchain technology give Ohio a boost in luring overseas blockchain-based businesses to the Buckeye State?
AD: Yes. The legislation strengthens the state’s position at the forefront of innovation, making it more attractive for companies to invest and expand here in Ohio. It recognizes the use of blockchain technology to transmit and store electronic records in a broad range of industries, from financial services to supply chain management, real estate and healthcare. This removes barriers to success that many other states have, helping blockchain innovators in Ohio thrive in their efforts to develop new products and applications for the financial industry and beyond.
BF: The Global Center for Health Innovation in Cleveland recently hosted its second annual Medical Capital Innovation Competition, which attracted applicants from 24 countries seeking collaboration opportunities with major partners, including the Cleveland Clinic. Is healthcare a huge magnet for FDI coming into Ohio?
AD: More companies overseas are seeing that Ohio is a healthcare powerhouse with the best care providers and research centers in America. This includes the Cleveland Clinic, which is No. 1 in the U.S. in heart and coupled with Case Western Reserve University; Cincinnati Children’s, No. 2 in pediatrics and coupled with the University of Cincinnati; and Nationwide Children’s, No. 7 in pediatrics and coupled with Ohio State. This along with our strength in manufacturing, distribution and more, make us attractive for healthcare FDI. Alkermes, AstraZeneca, Daiichi Sankyo and Xellia—all have doubled capacity in Ohio in the last four years, so there is no question healthcare businesses can invest and thrive here.
BF: How critical is Ohio’s logistics infrastructure to attracting FDI?
AD: Obviously high-quality infrastructure enhances corporate productivity and speed to market. Between 2011 and 2018, the state will have invested over $16 billion in transportation infrastructure alone, resulting in an enhanced overall business climate.