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Incorporating FDI in Economic Development: How the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) Helps

January 5, 2018
By Peter Torpey, Intern, SelectUSA


Select USA and EDA Logos

As chair of the Federal Interagency Investment Working Group (IIWG), SelectUSA works across the federal government to coordinate and streamline policies and programs that affect foreign direct investment (FDI) in the United States. A significant part of that mission includes making resources readily available to the public, which is why SelectUSA and the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) came together for the latest edition of the SelectUSA USG Webinars last month.

This webinar helped participants gain a thorough understanding of how EDA works with eligible grantees to support local strategies designed to attract FDI. Additionally, EDA specialists explained how their grants support the conditions needed to foster strong regional economic ecosystems that are attractive to foreign investors.

Working in concert with its grantees and state and regional economic development organizations (EDOs), EDA’s investment priorities, are designed to help establish a foundation for sustainable job growth, and the development of durable regional economies throughout the United States.

So, how exactly does EDA assist EDOs in attracting foreign investors?

EDA’s grantees are supported through a portfolio of flexible grant tools, which can help communities looking to advance their FDI strategies take control of their future, and position themselves for economic prosperity and resiliency.

A key EDA program that can help communities develop and implement these strategies is its Planning Program (PDF). The Planning Program invests in a national network of EDA-designated Economic Development Districts (EDDs), as well as Indian Tribes and other eligible recipients to support long-term strategic economic development planning efforts.

Through the development of Comprehensive Economic Development Strategies, regions have established and maintained robust economic ecosystems by helping to build regional capacity that contributes to individual, firm, and community success.

EDA’s Public Works (PDF) and Economic Adjustment Assistance Programs (PDF) can help communities implement their strategies. Through the Public Works program, eligible grantees can revitalize, expand, and upgrade their physical infrastructure to support new industry, business expansion, and economic diversification to generate or retain long-term, private sector jobs and investment. The Economic Adjustment Assistance Program – EDA’s most flexible program – helps communities adjust or bring about change to an economy through investments in infrastructure, planning, technical assistance, and access to capital.

In addition, EDA serves as the Federal Government’s lead for the integration of Federal economic development resources.

The webinar will be available on the SelectUSA website in February 2018. For an electronic copy of the EDA presentation, or for more information on future SelectUSA USG Webinar Series presentations slated for 2018, please email the SelectUSA Events team.

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