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SC a leader in international investment

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Courting overseas money

By Chris Winston | Staff Writer | Spartanburg Heral-Journal

Less than a week after Spartanburg's annual International Festival, South Carolina has been recognized once again as a leader in overseas investment.

Jobs created by U.S. subsidiaries of foreign-owned companies represent more than 8 percent of the state's private-sector employment. That ranks South Carolina second in the nation, according to a study released this week by the Organization for International Investment.

Led by BMW [spartanburg], Freightliner [Charleston?], Fuji [Greenwood], Michelin [Greenville/Greer], Nestle [Columbia?] and Westinghouse [Columbia], foreign investment has created 123,400 jobs in the state -- up 11 percent from just five years ago. That ranks 16th in the country.

"Obviously, this is one of those fronts where we're very competitive as a state," said Gov. Mark Sanford. "The more investment we can bring into South Carolina and stimulate from within South Carolina, the more jobs we're going to create."

The new study, "Insourcing Jobs: Making the Global Economy Work for America," was conducted by Professor Matthew Slaughter of the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth.

Slaughter said "outsourcing" of U.S. jobs overseas in areas such as textiles has completed overshadowed the opposite benefit of free global trade.

The study outlines numerous real-life examples of foreign-owned companies supporting the U.S. economy.

One of them in Michelin Group, which has its North American headquarters in Greenville. The world's largest tiremaker has grown since its initial investment in 1975 to employ 18,000 American workers.

"My company long ago recognized the quality, skill level and work ethic of U.S. workers," said Michael Fanning, vice president of corporate affairs at Michelin North America.

While outsourcing has been blamed for the lost of tens of thousands of manufacturing jobs, many of the jobs created by foreign investment are also in manufacturing, the report says.

Foreign-based companies employ 62,400 workers in manufacturing in South Carolina.

This article from the Heral-Journal has been edited by Spartan

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I think a lot of people sleep on SC and just write it off, thinking its just some humdrum backwoods place. They know very little about how aggressively the state is taking steps and changing!

Lil' ol SC will be running with the big dogs soon enough!

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