Thank you Dale, thank you Chris. Ladies and gentlemen, among the participants here this afternoon I see a number of very familiar faces. They’re familiar because I had the honor to accompany a group of almost 30 Romanians, including Minister Laufer, to participate in SelectUSA 2017, in June of this year.
SelectUSA is our primary program to facilitate job-creating foreign direct business investment into the United States. For those of you who have not yet participated in SelectUSA, just by joining us here this afternoon, you’ve indicated an interest in potentially investing in the United States, so I encourage you to listen to the experts who will describe the program in more detail, but also to the experiences of some of those Romanian participants who joined me in Washington DC this June.
The United States is the largest consumer market in the world, with a GDP of $18 trillion. Household spending in the United States is the highest in the world and it accounts for nearly one-third of global household consumption. Free-trade agreements with 20 other countries give an investor in the United States enhanced access to hundreds of millions of additional consumers around the world.
The United States has a strong and independent legal system, as well as a regulatory environment particularly conducive to starting and operating businesses. The U.S. ranks eighth overall in the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business rankings. And as Warren Buffett has noted, the U.S. has “a very open, very market-driven, very transparent economy.”
American workers are among the most productive in the world. The United States has also the most developed, flexible, and efficient financial markets in the world. Investing in the United States gives you access to capital and a wide range of financing sources, from individual investors to venture capitalists, banks to investment firms, all providing opportunities for growing your investment opportunities to reach greater returns in the future.
Finally, there is the diversity of the United States: diversity in people, in resources, in environments, and most importantly, in opportunities. Nearly every imaginable sector is available for investment. Whether it be agricultural or manufacturing investment, service industries or mining, excellent opportunities and options exist for your capital and your energy and your talent as potential investors in the United States.
Thank you for coming today and thank you for considering investing in the United States.
Before I turn it back to Chris to introduce Minister Laufer, let me also just note that in addition to SelectUSA there are other vehicles that are organized to enable foreign investors to take a harder look at opportunities in the United States. One such example is a program, a reverse trade mission that is going to be organized by the State of Minnesota in the spring of 2018, for companies interested in the medical technology sector in the United States. So my advice then is – in addition to SelectUSA, keep your eyes open for other opportunities to find a guiding hand to introduce you to the American market.