foreign investment

South Carolina brings home foreign investment trophy

When it comes to foreign direct investment, South Carolina has been declared the national champ.

South Carolina attracts the highest number of foreign expansion projects and interstate investments on a per capita basis, according to the news service fDi Intelligence.

Indiana finished second, North Carolina third and California fourth in the inaugural championship rankings. Data was collected by fDi between September 2014 and August 2015.

Expansions by Techtronic Industries in Anderson County and ZF Friedrichshafen in Laurens County, which combined for more than $100 million in capital investment and more than 750 announced new jobs, were mentioned specifically by fDi.

International commerce has long played a prominent role in South Carolina. In calendar 2015, 56 percent of announced capital investment and 37 percent of announced new jobs were tied to companies headquartered in foreign countries, according to the S.C. Department of Commerce.

The state also set a record in 2015 for total export sales for the sixth straight year, with $30.9 billion in sales. Commerce reported that the Palmetto State’s sales increased by 4.2 percent in 2015, fifth-best in the nation. Increases in sales of aircraft helped to pace the growth.

South Carolina led the nation with $9.8 billion in export sales of completed passenger motor vehicles. The state also leads in exports of tires, ball and roller bearings, and lawn mowers, according to Commerce.