May 08, 2008 10:45 ET

Governor Donald L. Carcieri, APC and RIEDC to Host Department of Commerce Officials Visit to Rhode Island as Part of "Invest in America" Week Activities

Commerce Officials to Highlight the Benefits of Foreign Investment

WEST KINGSTON, RI--(Marketwire - May 8, 2008) - U.S. Department of Commerce officials plan to visit Rhode Island today to highlight the benefits of foreign investments made in the U.S. as part of the agency's Invest in America Week activities. Invest in America Week will be held May 5-9, 2008, featuring events spanning the United States. These events will highlight the importance of foreign direct investment (FDI) for jobs and economic growth through a series of site visits to foreign investor-owned facilities in states across the country. West Kingston, R.I.-based APC, a global leader in integrated critical power and cooling services, will serve as host site for Rhode Island's Invest in America Week activities on May 8. APC is owned by France-based Schneider Electronic, a $25 billion global specialist in energy management.

Rear Admiral William G. Sutton CAE, U.S. Navy (Ret.) is the U.S. Commerce Department Assistant Secretary for Manufacturing and Services (MAS) will be visiting Rhode Island as part of the Invest in America Week activities, and will be addressing the topic of foreign direct investment at APC along with Rhode Island Governor Donald L. Carcieri, Laurent Vernerey, APC's president and chief executive officer and Saul Kaplan, the executive director of the Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation.

"Invest in America Week highlights our commitment to open investment policies that are key drivers of economic growth. Millions of Americans are employed by foreign companies, with better than average wages. We need to continue attracting investment that promotes economic growth and produces jobs," Commerce Secretary Carlos M. Gutierrez said.

States participating in this year's Invest in America Week activities include Arizona, California, Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Hampshire, New York, Kansas, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Wisconsin.

"Foreign direct investment continues to play a major role in Rhode Island's economy," said Rhode Island Governor Donald L. Carcieri. "We are encouraged by the job growth we have seen by U.S. subsidiaries located in Rhode Island. Approximately 23,000 Rhode Islanders are employed by U.S. subsidiaries and it shows that our state's assets, such as its people, infrastructure, institutions of higher education, and access to talent have been recognized and appreciated at a global level."

U.S. subsidiaries in Rhode Island play a vital role in supporting jobs. According to the Organization for International Investment U.S. subsidiaries in Rhode Island currently employ 22,900 Rhode Islanders (representing a 3.2% increase over the past five years). In fact, the relative portion of jobs in the state supplied by U.S. subsidiaries remains significant. They provide the livelihood for 5.3% of Rhode Island's private-sector workforce. Additionally, Rhode Island ranks 11th in the nation in the share of its workforce supported by U.S. subsidiaries. U.S. subsidiaries support 3,100 manufacturing jobs in Rhode Island. Almost 6% of manufacturing jobs in Rhode Island are supported by U.S. subsidiaries.

"On behalf of APC and Schneider Electric, we are delighted to support the Department of Commerce's Invest in America Week," said Laurent Vernerey, APC's president and chief executive officer. "Schneider Electric has established a significant presence in the U.S., representing approximately $7 billion in revenue, 28 percent of its total revenue; backed by a team of more than 30,000 people; and represented by industry leading offers in energy management, including Square D, TAC and Pelco. The addition of industry-leading companies such as APC to the Schneider Electric portfolio strengthens our market presence not only in the U.S., but globally, while at the same time providing APC customers and employees with expanded opportunities and solutions."

Historically, the United States is the world's largest recipient of FDI. The total stock of FDI in the United States in 2006 was nearly $1.8 trillion, or the equivalent to approximately 15% of U.S. GDP. In the United States, over five million Americans work for companies headquartered overseas. Despite representing less than five percent of our workforce, these jobs account for 10 percent of U.S. capital investment, 15 percent of U.S. annual research & development investment, and nearly 20 percent of U.S. exports.

"Rhode Island has seen a 3.2% increase in foreign direct investment over the past five years and we are pleased that so many innovative Rhode Island companies have caught the attention of global investors," stated Saul Kaplan, executive director, Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation. "The capacity to deliver value to a global market has become increasingly important to businesses across all industries. As Rhode Island continues its transition into a 21st century innovation economy, we would expect to see this investment continue and increase substantially over time."

More than five million Americans work in jobs created by FDI, and FDI accounts for 10 percent of U.S. capital investment, 15 percent of annual research and development expenditures, and 20 percent of U.S. exports. On average, U.S. subsidiaries of foreign firms pay 25 percent higher wages than that of U.S. establishments, making these jobs highly sought-after by U.S. workers.

Examples of foreign corporations with operations in Rhode Island include APC (France), BAE Systems Defense (United Kingdom), Cookson Group Electronics (United Kingdom), GTECH (Italy), Hexagon (Sweden), Mahr Federal (Germany), National Grid Electricity Generation/Transmission (United Kingdom), Polyrack Tech-Group Electronics Packaging (Germany), Simulia, France, Toray Industries Plastics (Japan), and Uvex Safety Manufacturing Protective Gear (France).

For more information about Invest in America Week, please visit

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