Alabama: Sweet Home for Foreign Investment
The Alabama advantage is characterized by an unmatched combination of lucrative business opportunities as well as below-average cost of living, a highly skilled workforce, dense transportation infrastructure, resourceful tax structures and incentives. This seamless network of advantages provides a reservoir of resources to help business and industry thrive. In fact, Alabama’s welcoming economic framework has helped foreign investment and German companies prosper in the last two decades.
Alabama is at the geographic heart of the United States’ fastest-growing region – the Southeast. The synergy effects of the local and the regions’ economic development are multifold. In 2013, Alabama was ranked No. 7 among the states for foreign direct investment, and the figure rose 107 percent from 2011, one of the biggest gains for any state, according to an economic report (IBM 2012). Foreign investment is helping to reshape the state’s manufacturing sector, and international trade plays a key role in sustaining the state’s economy. In 2012, Alabama exports totaled $19.5 billion – a 59 percent increase from 2009 and a 9 percent increase over 2011 (International Trade Administration 2012). The state shipped products to 188 countries last year with the top five markets being Canada, Germany, China, Mexico and Japan.
From economic giants like Mercedes-Benz U.S., which operates a manufacturing plant in Tuscaloosa County to small-and medium-sized German companies, Alabama is home to more than 68 companies that employ more than 12.000 workers in total.
Transportation equipment was the top export at $7 billion, a 27 percent increase over 2011. Second was chemicals ($2.6 billion); minerals and ores ($1.8 billion); primary metals ($1.4 billion); and machinery ($1 billion.) The state offers thousands of available sites, a proven track record of success, and a pro-business attitude that allows companies to building a great business. Alabama has the resources, atmosphere, workforce, and competitive advantages to cultivate growth and expansion in any industry field.
For German companies considering Alabama’s, the state has a highly respected workforce development program, similar to those in Germany. Alabama Industrial Development Training is recognized by the International Organization for Standardization Principle for Quality Management and is the only state in the U.S. with such certification. The program was ranked first in the country by Expansion Management Magazine. The program is offered at no cost to both employees and employers, and offers placement and recruiting aid.
Partnerorganization: AlabamaGermany Partnership (AGP)