Southeast Developers Showcase Region at SelectUSA

James Wolfe knows the value of making international connections. In 2015, he attended the SelectUSA Investment Summit in Washington, DC, where he made contact with a foreign textile manufacturer that visited his county just a week later. “Companies there are not kicking tires,” says Wolfe, economic development director for Duplin County. “They’re ready to set up shop.”


Wolfe returned to this year’s summit, held in Washington in June. The event drew 2,500 participants from 70 countries, offering a ready showcase for the region as a destination for foreign direct investment. Joining Wolfe at the Southeast’s display booth were local development counterparts Sheila Pierce Knight of Onslow County, Crystal Gettys of Wayne County and John Swope of Sampson County. Southeastern Partnership President Steve Yost also took part. “It’s one of the best trips I go on with the Southeast,” Wolfe says. The group immediate began following up with contacts made there.

 About 70 percent of the foreign direct investment arriving in the U.S. goes into manufacturing operations, making regions like the Southeast a strong fit for events like SelectUSA.