International Growth: Why European Companies Are Finding Success in Ohio
Alina Harastasanu•Published: Mon Oct 09 2023
As a host of macro and geopolitical events, including Brexit, ongoing supply chain crises, the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), and the strength of the US economy, EU companies are looking at Ohio as an ideal entry point into the U.S. market. Already home to more than 4,000 companies from 47 countries, foreign direct investment (FDI) from European companies in Ohio has increased, even as the pandemic and other geopolitical pressures have caused some volatility. According to FDI Markets, in 2022, FDI in Ohio increased to 40 projects with $6 billion capex and 7,575 jobs, which places Ohio sixth for FDI in the US.
With more than 40 years of experience welcoming global companies, Ohio offers several vital strengths to help foster growth and success for its international partners. In Ohio, companies can find a rich history in manufacturing, a robust industrial base, a diversified energy portfolio, a simplified tax structure, and world-class Research and Development institutions and tech hubs provide fertile ground for startups and established companies alike.
For example, when France-based Foresee Power, a leading European battery systems company, sought to broaden its horizons in North America, Ohio's robust electric vehicle (EV) ecosystem proved ideal. A strong incentive offering and a favorable business climate tipped the scales in Ohio’s favor, while access to a growing pool of outstanding talent sealed the deal. The first phase of Foresee Power’s investment, which includes $13 million and the recruitment of 150 new employees, will expand the company’s production capacity to a hefty 3 GWh by 2027.
UK-based BJSS also sought a strategic tech hub for its new U.S. home. Deep and diverse technology operations in the Columbus region appealed to the maker of complex enterprise software, as did proximity to a thriving educational ecosystem. The Ohio State University, one of the largest universities in the U.S., along with more than 50 other colleges and universities in the region, supply a steady pipeline of skilled talent, especially in high-demand fields such as engineering and computer science.
This innovative environment also appealed to Germany-based Festo, a global leader in cutting-edge automation technology across multiple industries, focusing on Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) devices that enhance factory management through real-time diagnostics. Enabled devices like IO-Link, for example, can transmit machine data to factory management systems, allowing adjustments to be made remotely while a machine is still running. Festo recently announced a $90 million investment to expand almost three-fold its existing state-of-the-art Regional Service and Manufacturing Center in Mason, Ohio.
While Ohio is a clear choice for global leaders in tech, automotive, and EV supply chain, those are just a few of the state’s industries ideal for European investment. Cérélia, a French leader in ready-made doughs and baked goods, chose to invest more than $29 million in its expansion within Ohio, building a new 150,000-square-foot production facility to meet growing customer demand. The decision came after evaluating sites in central Ohio and Toronto, Canada. Ohio's history of helping companies succeed and the state’s impressive portfolio in the food and agribusiness sector, ranking nationally in the top five for food products, played a pivotal role in attracting Cérélia.
With the help of JobsOhio, the state’s private economic development corporation, international companies continue to benefit from Ohio’s strengths and tailored services and incentives to support investment in the state. The nonprofit’s dedicated industry experts understand the unique requirements of European companies and have curated programs to help them tap into Ohio’s skilled workforce and vast market potential. The proof is in the numbers: JobsOhio and its partners have completed more than 600 international corporate projects involving $18 billion in capital investment and over 45,000 jobs. JobsOhio works closely with all economic development stakeholders to help companies routinely overachieve on their job creation and investment goals by creating an environment for sustained growth.
As it continues to fortify its FDI stature, Ohio promises a future of growth, innovation, and shared prosperity. To learn more about foreign investment in Ohio, contact Alina Harastasanu, JobsOhio Director of European Business Development, at firstname.lastname@example.org or +1 (614) 301-3536.