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North America / US

The state of play: FDI in New York

With a $1.7trn economy, New York state would rank 11th in the world if it were a country. This makes the location enormously attractive to foreign investors.

New York-FDI-US
New York City is one of the best known metropolises in the world and is a hub for multiple sectors. All of this contributes towards New York State being a major global player for FDI. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

New York state is consistently in the four leading US states for foreign direct investment (FDI), both in terms of project numbers and capital flows, depending on the data source.

According to The fDi Report 2020, New York State had a total of 194 greenfield FDI projects in 2019, which represented a 7% rise from 2018 and was only surpassed by California. New York received a 6% share of total FDI by capital investment into North America in 2019 at $5.6bn.

New York and California were the top two destinations for FDI, accounting for 20% of FDI project numbers in North America during 2019. More broadly, the number of FDI projects into North America in 2019 increased by 14%, despite an 11% fall in capital.

According to data produced by fDi Markets and the US Bureau of Economic Analysis, and updated in November 2019 by the US Department of Commerce’s SelectUSA programme, the top industry sectors for FDI in New York State by number of projects are software and IT services at 575, business services at 419, textiles at 303 and financial services at 230.

New York City dominates state’s FDI landscape

According to Forbes’s Best States for Business 2019, New York City dominates the state’s economy, which stands at $1.74trn in gross state product. If New York State were a country, its economy would be the 11th-largest in the world.

New York City was placed first in fDi Intelligence’s American Cities of the Future 2019/20 ranking. The city attracted 836 FDI projects between 2014 and 2018, which was more than double the number of its closest competitor Toronto and represented a 10% share of total FDI projects into the country.

Government investment promotion agency Empire State Development (ESD) told Investment Monitor that the most frequent FDI enquires during the Covid-19 crisis were in the areas of green energy, fintech, artificial intelligence, blockchain and medical products, including PPE. According to ESD, New York State ranks second for venture capital – after California – which has created a thriving start-up ecosystem. In fact, New York City tied for second place with London in Start-up Genome’s Global Start-up Ecosystem 2020 report. The report cited the value of New York City’s start-up sector as $147bn.