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Minneapolis-St. Paul Chosen for Foreign Direct Investment Pilot Project

Twin Cities joins five other U.S. metros in initiative

April 18, 2014

Monte Hanson, 651-259-7149

Minneapolis-St. Paul has been selected with five other U.S. metropolitan areas for a pilot project aimed at attracting more foreign direct investment to their regions.

Minneapolis-St. Paul will join Columbus, Ohio; Portland, Ore.; San Antonio; San Diego; and Seattle in developing a foreign direct investment plan that will serve as a blueprint for becoming more competitive globally.

The effort is part of the Global Cities Initiative, a five-year project that was created in 2012 by the Brookings Institution and JPMorgan Chase to help U.S. metros strengthen their regional economies by increasing their exports and foreign direct investment.

“Foreign direct investment is an important part of the Minnesota economy, helping to create jobs, open new markets and bring investment dollars for new or expanded facilities in the state,” said Katie Clark Sieben, commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED). “This FDI pilot project along with the state of Minnesota’s new FDI program and foreign trade offices are positioning our state for future economic growth."

To attract more foreign investment to the state, DEED’s Minnesota Trade Office in March named Laurence Reszetar as its first director of foreign direct investment.

DEED partnered in the application for the pilot project with the Minneapolis Saint Paul Regional Economic Development Partnership (GREATER MSP) and the St. Paul Port Authority.

“The Greater Minneapolis Saint Paul region has a strong history of foreign direct investment because of the robust economy here, and we are looking forward to being part of the pilot project to explore how we can boost this investment into our region even further,” said Michael Langley, CEO of GREATER MSP.

Brookings officials said they selected the six metro areas for the pilot project after an extensive application process. Minneapolis-St. Paul was chosen for its readiness and commitment to strategically pursue foreign direct investment such as greenfield expansions, mergers and acquisitions, and other types of foreign investment, including equity joint ventures, and sovereign wealth funds, according to Brookings.

“For this pilot, we selected metro areas that are committed to attracting and leveraging foreign direct investment as part of a comprehensive global trade and investment strategy,” said Brad McDearman, Brookings fellow and director of metro trade and investment. “The six metro areas selected for this round will be strong role models for other regions and represent a growing group of leaders who understand the need to embrace the global market to remain competitive in the 21st century economy.”

According to Brookings, foreign direct investment has long supported regional economies, not only by infusing capital, but also by investing in workers, strengthening global connections and sharing best business practices. As the world’s largest economy with a stable investment environment, the United States has been a top destination for foreign direct investment. Yet in the world’s increasingly competitive investment market, America’s global share of foreign direct investment has fallen.

“We’re delighted that Minneapolis-St. Paul will be a part of this new pilot – it’s exactly the kind of innovative planning that will ensure our community’s long-term economic success,” said Peter Kellenberger, head of Chase Middle Market banking in Minnesota. “Leveraging our global presence, we regularly connect domestic businesses to global markets and the Global Cities Initiative’s foreign direct investment work brings another level of depth to our region’s efforts to further create jobs, attract capital and grow our economy.”

As part of the pilot, Minneapolis-St. Paul will develop a foreign direct investment market assessment and plan, along with an implementation plan and a policy memo. This work combined with the region’s existing export plan will form the core strategy for strengthening the region's global economic connections and competitiveness.

DEED is the state’s principal economic development agency, promoting business recruitment, expansion and retention, workforce development, international trade and community development. For more details about the agency and our services, visit us at Follow us on Twitter at

GREATER MSP is a private-public partnership with the mission to accelerate job growth and capital investment in the Greater MSP Region.  It partners with economic development organizations throughout the region to develop strategy, brand and market the region, and serve as coordinator for business retention, expansion, and recruitment projects.  Learn more at




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