Maryland: Open for Business
Maryland is open for business.
That was the message at the 2015 Post-SelectUSA Chinese Investment in Maryland Showcase, held at the Johns Hopkins University Montgomery County Campus. At the showcase, representatives from roughly 15 Chinese companies were given an opportunity to learn about the benefits of investing in Maryland.
“There’s a community here that would welcome you with open arms,” said Brad Gillenwater, regional manager – Asia, for the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development’s Office of International Investment and Trade.
“Please do not look further,” added Signe Pringle, program director for the Office of International Investment and Trade. “You are in the right place.”
The showcase came on the heels of the SelectUSA conference, held this year at the Gaylord National Convention Center. President Barack Obama established SelectUSA in 2011 to promote foreign business investment in the United States. Since then, according to the White House, SelectUSA has assisted more than 1,000 clients and helped generate more than $20 billion of investment in the United States.
SelectUSA is a government-wide initiative to encourage international companies to invest in the United States. The United States has more foreign direct investment than any other country.
The Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development wants to make sure at least some of that investment happens in Maryland.
Leslie Weber, director, campus, government and community affairs for Johns Hopkins in Montgomery County, told the Chinese investors that opportunities exist for investment within JHU. She explained that the university is the largest private employer in the state of Maryland and is world renowned in biomedical sciences, engineering and basic sciences. She also touted the Peabody Institute.
Weber gave the Chinese investors an overview of the region and the role played by JHU, the National Institutes of Health, the National Aeronautics Space Administration and other federal agencies. She also gave a synopsis of plans for the Great Seneca Science Corridor master planning area. The goal, she said, is for the area to be home to 60,000 science-based jobs and include places to live and shop. Investment opportunities exist, she said, not only at the JHU Belward Campus but also related to the building of the Corridor Cities Transitway. The CCT is the proposed bus-rapid transit line that would connect Clarksburg with the Shady Grove Metro station.
“The vision is to create the pre-eminent biotech center in the United States,” Weber said. Of JHU, she said: “We are looking at additional buildings and additional companies to become part of the Montgomery County community. We have a lot of room to grow.”