International Engagement Ready Communities

An initiative to assist U.S. communities with FDI attraction

Tuesday, October 31, 2017
Office of Public Affairs

U.S. Department of Commerce Taps SRI International to Develop Roadmap to Help U.S. Communities Attract Foreign Direct Investment

WASHINGTON - SelectUSA, the Economic Development Administration (EDA), and the Trade Promotion Coordinating Committee (TPCC) awarded SRI International a grant to research best practices in foreign direct investment (FDI) attraction and export promotion.

An independent, nonprofit research center, SRI International will conduct a study of key success factors for economic development organizations (EDOs) in FDI attraction and export promotion and work to identify characteristics of effective international engagement strategies. Findings from the study will determine transferrable recommendations for EDOs. SRI International with develop a toolkit to help communities implement more effective FDI attraction and export promotion practices.
The final product will include analysis of common characteristics and local and regional challenges to successful foreign investment attraction and trade promotion, a best practice report, and a user-friendly toolkit that communities can use to enhance international engagement efforts. 

The toolkit will help communities evaluate the success of their FDI and export promotion practices, identify potential areas of global competitiveness based on their geographies, and develop and implement more effective international engagement strategies.

The International Engagement Ready Communities (IERC) project is a federal government initiative to assist U.S. communities to strengthen their local economies through FDI attraction and export promotion. 

There is tremendous variability among state and local economic development organizations (EDOs) engaged in FDI attraction and export promotion, and limited ways in which they can share best practices. However, in order to be more globally competitive, these communities of varied resource ability must develop strong regional plans that provide a roadmap for attracting FDI and deepening international business ties within their communities.

The IERC project aims to support EDOs by identifying and adopting economic development and workforce best practices related to foreign direct investment (FDI) attraction and fostering a supportive environment for local exporters. This in turn will set the foundation for communities to enhance their FDI attraction strategies and create an innovative infrastructure to engage in the global market.  

SRI International is working with the Center for Regional Economic Competitiveness and Stone and Associates on this project.

IERC Initiative

The IERC initiative is an opportunity for organizations engaged in economic or infrastructure development opportunities to apply for $600,000 in funding to support empirical research on successful international engagement strategies and develop best practice reports and a competitiveness assessment tool. These elements will be incorporated into a user-friendly economic development organization (EDO) toolkit and training guide to help local communities assess and increase their ability to become globally competitive while enhancing their trade and FDI promotion activities.