Tag Archives: upstate New York

Foreign trade and investment boost upstate economy

As the global economy expands and the upstate economy remains stagnant, expanding global trade and foreign investment is an important upstate growth strategy being employed by government, business and economic development leaders.

Both exporting finished good made upstate and attracting foreign capital investments into upstate business ventures are strategies being employed across the state. Details of the various strategies were discussed at a forum focused on upstate New York presented by The Public Policy Institute of New York State, Inc. and The Business Council of New York State, Inc.

“Consumers in emerging markets are a tremendous opportunity to boost the upstate economy and export markets for upstate goods are rising dramatically,” said Jose Rasco, managing director and head of investment strategy for HSBC Private Bank.

“There’s a compelling argument for global trade and foreign investment to boost the upstate economy,” Rasco said. “Export markets are rising dramatically. Foreign trade has doubled as a percent of economic output in ten years.”

Kenneth Adams, president and CEO of Empire State Development and commissioner of the New York State Department of Economic Development, outlined statewide strategies being used to attract investment including marketing the more than 100 tax-free zones linked to academic and research institutions around the state to foreign biotech and technology companies.

Adams also cited a foreign-domestic partnership between PepsiCo and Theo Muller Group of Germany to establish a yogurt manufacturing facility in Batavia, N.Y. “New York state has supportive platform for companies from emerging economies to use assets like skilled professional services, abundant water, and a skilled workforce,” Adams said.

Through the GlobalNY initiative each of the state’s 10 Regional Economic Development Councils (REDC) have submitted at least one development strategy involving foreign trade or investment to the state for consideration in the next round of state funding.

The closest foreign economy to upstate is Canada and economic development groups across the state have strategies in place to promote cross border trade and investment.

Garry Douglas, president and CEO of the North County Chamber of Commerce in Plattsburgh says Canadian investment in his county totals $2 billion per year while 15 percent of workers in Clinton County work for Canadian employers in Clinton County.

Douglas says his group’s strategy is make Clinton County Montreal’s southern suburb.

Canadian firms can retain headquarters functions like finance and human resources while gaining the benefits of“Having operations in Clinton County is less disruptive and more familiar to Canadian businesses than setting up in states like North Carolina where they would need to find new vendors and services,” Douglas said. “This way their U.S. operation is just a few miles from headquarters.”

At the other end of the state, the Buffalo Niagara Partnership seeks to tap into growth in Ontario Province.

“While the upstate population shrinks, Ontario is growing, said Bryan Roth, business development manager for the organization.

“ Ontario’s population is now 16.5 million and will grow another 3.5 million over the next few years. For western New York that growth represents opportunity,” he said.

In the Capital Region, the growing technology economy fueled by Business Council members IBM, GE and GlobalFoundries is providing a market for many small and medium-sized manufacturing companies to provide components for the technology giants.

F. Michael Tucker, president and CEO of the Center for Economic Growth, says these small and medium sized manufacturers are also finding ways to grow their businesses by exporting the same products overseas.

To make the most of opportunities presented by a growing global economy, the experts agree that New York needs to do more to improve its business climate. The same roadblocks to domestic business, such as the Scaffold Law, affect foreign companies doing business in the state, and uncertainty over the future of the state’s Brownfields Redevelopment Program creates the same uncertainty for foreign developers as it does for domestic developers.

Opportunity Upstate is an initiative of The Public Policy Institute of New York State and The Business Council of New York State that focuses on the region’s most pressing issues that have impeded its economic growth along with some its most valuable assets that are or have the potential to be key economic drivers.

Through a series of forums and an examination of issues like taxes and excessive business regulation, and assets like manufacturing, innovation, global trade and foreign investment and education, PPI and The Business Council will prepare recommendations and propose changes needed to achieve the ideal upstate business climate.

Rebuilding New York’s economy

Business Council President and CEO Heather C. Briccetti, Esq.’s interview with Gannett Albany Bureau Chief was featured again this weekend as part of an article on Governor Cuomo’s efforts to boost the economy.  If you missed the interview, you can watch it online here.

The article highlights how the Governor has made more than 75 trips to upstate and the New York City suburbs this year to promote ways to boost the economy.

In the interview, Briccetti said, that while New York has added close to a quarter million jobs, moving beyond pre-recession levels, these jobs have been added downstate, not upstate.  The upstate economy has not recovered and more needs to be done to help upstate manufacturing and job growth.

Casino plans revealed

Heather Briccetti, president and CEO of The Business Council joined Governor Cuomo yesterday as he announced his plan for casinos in New York State.  Briccetti said the plan was ‘very consistent with the focus on tourism and upstate job growth and also the recognition that getting some of the tourist visitors to Upstate New York will positively benefit the upstate economy.”

Multiple news sources outlined the plan that calls for a referendum on the issue this fall.  Details include dividing upstate New York into six regions, with three proposals in each region competing for the winning bid, and new casinos in the Capital Region, the Catskills and the Southern Tier.

Resources:

Governor Cuomo unveils resort gaming destination plan to bring tourism and jobs to upstate New York

Newsday: Cuomo wants casino referendum this fall

New York Times: wants voters to decide on full-scale casinos

Post Star: Indian casino compacts with state come under scrutiny

Times Herald Record:  Cuomo casino plan released

HSBC report on growth rates of international and domestic companies in Upstate New York

I believe Business Council members will be interested in new research released by HSBC on international and domestic business in Upstate New York.

The inaugural HSBC Spotlight on U.S. Trade report was conducted to investigate the impact of international trade on the top 30 publicly-held companies in Upstate New York (Rochester, Syracuse, Buffalo-Niagara Falls, and the Capital District) based on historical revenue data. Key findings from the report show that Upstate New York businesses operating internationally are:

At a Glance:

Growing revenue faster. Global companies in Upstate New York saw revenue grow at an average rate of 4.59 per cent from 2010 to 2011, while their domestic peers expanded by only 1.69 per cent over the same period.

Earning more. In 2011, global businesses earned $2.67 billion more in revenue than domestic businesses in the region.

Increasing the revenue gap. The gap between global and domestic companies has been widening since 2008, with global companies earning 13 per cent more in revenue on average over the last five years.

From 2007 through 2011, global companies in the region have consistently earned more revenue than domestic ones, even through the Great Recession.

Kevin Quinn, HSBC’s Head of Corporate Banking for Upstate New York, said, “The report’s findings are consistent with what we fundamentally believe at HSBC, which is that an overseas customer base can insulate you from domestic market fluctuations and helps harness the potential and growth of emerging global economies.”

Click here to see more from the Upstate New York Fact Sheet.

Click here to get the full report.