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Indiana Sees Increased Foreign Investment After Recession

Foreign investments in Indiana declined during the recession but are again on the rise.

BP Plant in Whiting

Photo: Heather Phillip (Flickr)

Photo: Heather Phillips (Flickr) BP was one of the biggest investors in the state in 2011, although much of that was capital investment such as infrastructure additions to its plants such as the one in Whiting, Indiana (above).

The number of Hoosier jobs created by foreign companies and investment fell sharply during the recession. But a new study suggests Indiana is on the road to recovery.

The Indiana Business Research Center’s report on foreign direct investment in the state details the low point Indiana hit during the recession. In 2009, the most recent year for which data is available, Indiana had more than 131 thousand workers at enterprises where foreign investors or companies had at least a 50 percent stake. That was down nearly 12 percent from 2007.

But that still put Indiana in the top third in the country. Nearly three-quarters of those announcements have been in manufacturing. pie chart of investments by industry

Business Research Center analyst Tanya Hall says, while that’s a good thing, manufacturing alone won’t get Indiana to reach the type of growth necessary to fully recover from the recession.

“We have a very strong
pharmaceutical and organic chemical sector in this state,” she says. “We have a very strong agricultural base.”

Hall stressed that the job announcements from the last three years are not final numbers – those figures could change before the jobs are actually realized.  Still, she says initial results are positive.

Indiana Chamber of Commerce President Kevin Brinegar says foreign trade missions, like the one Lieutenant Governor Becky Skillman will lead to China next month, are vital to gaining foreign investments.

“When you’re talking about, you know, putting facilities halfway around the world, having a comfort level and having me and put a face on the leader of that state is important,”

There are early job numbers available for 2009 to 2011.  The research center says those initial results look positive.

Brandon Smith

Brandon Smith has previously worked as a reporter and anchor for KBIA Radio in Columbia, MO, and at WSPY Radio in Plano, IL as a show host, reporter, producer and anchor. Brandon graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a Bachelor of Journalism in 2010, with minors in political science and history. He was born and raised in Chicago.

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