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Illinois is the 17th largest econom in the world


In a recent feature in Business Facilities magazine, Illinois was lauded for being one of the most significant economies—not in our nation—but in the world. A big part of the growth in Illinois' economy is foreign direct investment, meaning foreign held businesses are growing in Illinois and Illinois is uniquely positioned to attract more non-US businesses. Read the full article here.

Below is an excerpt of the article:
Foreign direct investment (FDI) is key to the economic renaissance underway in Illinois and a vital strategy for Intersect Illinois, the public-private partnership which works with companies and connects them with state funding resources. Illinois ranks first in the Midwest as a destination for foreign investment. More than 1,890 foreign firms call Illinois home and they employ more than 319,000 Illinois residents. More than 80 foreign consulates are located in IL.

With the world’s 17th largest economy, Illinois is strategically located at the heart of the country, at the crossroads of commerce that puts businesses, people and goods within a four-hour flight of the entire North American market—not to mention non-stop service to more than 65 international destinations. That’s just one reason why 39 Fortune 500 companies and 440+ major corporate headquarters call Illinois home.

Illinois has proven to be a natural choice for international employers looking to expand in the North American market. The state’s more than 1,900 foreign companies contribute more than $100 billion to the states GDP—and include such notable firms as Novartis, Ricoh, Bombardier, Siemens and BP. Illinois ranks fifth in the nation for number of employees supported by U.S. subsidiaries.

Illinois’ world-class infrastructure includes eight foreign trade zones and five international airports. In addition, the state’s seven Class I railroads, third largest interstate highway system in the country and third largest intermodal port in the world provide unparalleled access to global markets. This allows international companies to reach their global customers and operations seamlessly, this has helped Illinois become the largest exporting state in the Midwest and the fifth largest exporting state in the U.S.

The state’s international population includes more than 40 distinct ethnic communities with populations over 35,000 and more than 80 foreign consulates help to facilitate employee relocation for global firms.

Illinois corporations also benefit from top-notch digital infrastructure; reliable, low-cost energy; abundant water; and natural resources. One of Illinois’ tremendous strengths is the diversity of industries prevalent there. The state is particularly strong in advanced manufacturing, agribusiness and food processing, financial services and life sciences. In fact, more than 290,000 workers are employed in advanced manufacturing.

Every state likes to say they’re innovative—but in Illinois, the facts speak for themselves. The state’s highly educated workforce of 6.4 million people is supported by more than 200 higher education institutions providing a multitude of degrees and certificate programs. The state also is home to the 10th top engineering school in the U.S.

International relationship building has been crucial to Intersect Illinois’ foreign investment strategy. Over the past year, Intersect Illinois has built strong international relationships while promoting the state’s assets. Intersect has taken part in jobs missions to China, Japan, Germany, Poland and Italy and hosted multiple delegations from these countries that have directly resulted in investment in Illinois.

Read the complete article on the Business Facilities magazine web site.