Fastest Growing FDI Sectors: Buildings, Beverages and Books

September 13, 2018

Growth in foreign direct investment (FDI) in the United States means that the U.S. economy is increasingly regarded as a competitive and welcoming environment for international businesses to build operations and create high-quality American jobs. But in which sectors of the U.S. economy are international companies growing most quickly?

International architectural and engineering services firms have increased their investment in the United States by 385 percent in the past five years.  For instance, UK-based Balfour Beatty recently helped redevelop Washington D.C.’s the Wharf, a three-million-square-foot area along Washington, D.C.’s historic Southwest waterfront, transforming it into one of the capital’s most vibrant destinations.

Such firms are classified as part of the professional, scientific and technical services industry, which also includes computer systems design, management consulting, advertising, legal and accounting services.  As an industry, this group has more than doubled its investment in the past five years, jumping 120 percent to $212 billion in 2017 from $96 billion in 2012.

In 2016, CEMEX USA – the U.S. subsidiary of Mexico-based CEMEX – marked its 100th anniversary of U.S. operations at the company’s Victorville, California plant. With over 380 locations across the United States, this international building materials company has become a critical part of America’s infrastructure landscape.

FDIUS 2018 Industry

International investment in the U.S. manufacturing industry rose 86 percent during the same time period. At more than $1.6 trillion in 2017, manufacturing accounted for 40 percent of total foreign direct investment stock, the largest industry for international investors.  Within the manufacturing industry, beverages manufacturing was the fastest growing sector, more than tripling in the past five years.

For example, Nestle Purina announced plans to invest $320 million in a new Hartwell, Georgia pet food factory and distribution center during the fall of 2017. The manufacturing plant is said to create 240 U.S. manufacturing jobs within a five-year timeframe. Not only is this Swiss company creating high-quality jobs for Americans, it’s helping U.S. communities in need.

When a Michigan county’s tap water became highly contaminated with lead, Nestle stepped in. Nestle Waters donates approximately 100,000 bottles of clean drinking water to the residents of Flint, Michigan each week – and has been doing so since October of 2015.

Information was the third-fastest growing industry with a 53 percent increase in the past five years and cumulative investment totaling $184 billion in 2017.

SAP America, a software developer based in Germany, expanded their U.S. presence in 2017 through a new Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania facility. The expansion project created 242 jobs in the region, with plans to accommodate 780 employees in total.