US President Barack Obama on Thursday announced first-ever coordinated federal efforts to attract foreign investment and bolster economic recovery.
"I'm proud to announce that I'm expanding and enhancing SelectUSA to create the first-ever, fully coordinated U.S. government effort to recruit businesses to invest and create new jobs in the United States," Obama said here at the SelectUSA 2013 Investment Summit.
The Obama administration created SelectUSA two years ago as part of a U.S. government-wide initiative to promote foreign direct investment (FDI) in the United States.
However, the sluggish economic recovery, political, fiscal and regulatory uncertainty in the United States has made foreign companies scale back investments in the largest economy.
FDI inflows in the United States declined to 166 billion U.S. dollars in 2012, down 28 percent from the previous year, according to a report released Thursday by the White House.
FDI inflows may edge down further this year, as a 16-day federal government shutdown starting on Oct. 1 has raised concerns about the U.S. ability to manage its economy, rattled global financial markets, and dampened consumer and business confidence.
In order to reverse the trend of declining FDI inflows, Obama outlined a series of measures at the federal level to bring foreign companies to invest in the United States.
Firstly, attracting foreign investment will be a priority for U. S. ambassadors.
Secondly, officials at the highest levels, including the president, will do more to make the case for investing in the United States.
Thirdly, companies that want to invest in the United States will be given a single point of contact at the federal level to cut through red tape.
Finally, the administration will help states, cities, regions across the United States to directly connect with potential investors.
The SelectUSA 2013 Investment Summit attracted about 1200 participants, including more than 630 foreign companies from nearly 60 countries and regions as well as local officials from the United States.