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Kansas City Celebrates Thriving Global Investment at KC SmartPort’s Annual Industry Briefing

by Laura Patriquin | Apr 10, 2024

650+ industrial business leaders joined the event to learn about global economic trends and how KC’s status as an industrial hub positions the region for success

KANSAS CITY, Mo.April 10, 2024KC SmartPort, the industrial-focused affiliate of the Kansas City Area Development Council, hosted its annual industry briefing today, focused on the Kansas City region as a center for global investment. 

The event brought together more than 650 industrial leaders from around the region and beyond, gaining insights from industry experts and KC SmartPort leadership on the future of global investment in North America and its impact on U.S. industrial development, supply chain and workforce trends. 

North American project activity is booming across industries and regions, and foreign direct investment (FDI) is a core component of this activity. For 12 years, the U.S. has ranked as the world’s top destination for FDI, with growing opportunities for reshoring and nearshoring. Renowned global economist and featured speaker at KC SmartPort’s Annual Industry Briefing, Bernard Baumohl, shared insight on these trends and what industry leaders can expect in the near future.

“Construction spending in U.S. manufacturing has taken off since the passage of legislation including the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) and the CHIPS Act, contributing to growing economic activity that’s gaining ever-more attention from companies around the globe,” said Baumohl. “The significant growth in U.S. jobs is attributable to reshoring and an increase in FDI, with U.S. employment in manufacturing now exceeding pre-pandemic months – and that will continue to rise.”

Companies from around the world are finding Kansas City to be a highly attractive choice to locate or expand their businesses. Ranked as a top 15 U.S. city for foreign business, the market offers robust infrastructure, a strong transportation network, a skilled workforce and a business-friendly foreign trade zone.

“Industrial corporations from around the world are seeking the best ways to optimize their operations, looking more and more at North America. Cost of power and labor, supply chain disruptions and government policies all play into companies’ decision of where to invest and grow,” said David Hickey, global managing director of Hickey & Associates and featured speaker at the event. “The strategic advantages of Kansas City including prime location and transportation infrastructure position it well for continued foreign direct investment.”

“Kansas City is rising as a global leader in the industrial market, recognized as a top 15 U.S. industrial market,” said Chris Gutierrez, president of KC SmartPort. “With more than 190,000 employees in the region and the ability to reach 90% of the contiguous U.S. in two days or less, the Kansas City region is an ideal choice for global enterprises to invest and innovate.”

The Kansas City region has attracted several globally recognized brands in the past five years, including Google, Panasonic, Meta, URBN, Ace Hardware, TAB Batteries and more. 

About KC SmartPort
KC SmartPort, an affiliate of the Kansas City Area Development Council, is the authority on logistics opportunities in the Kansas City region. As KC’s regional economic development organization that attracts industrial into the market, KC SmartPort has helped bring more than 13,000 jobs, $624 million in payroll and $8 billion capital investment totaling 21.1 million square feet to the KC region in the last five years. KCSmartPort.com

About the Kansas City Area Development Council (KCADC)
Serving the 18-county, two-state Kansas City area, the Kansas City Area Development Council is an economic development nonprofit that promotes the region’s business and lifestyle assets to companies and talent around the world. Working closely with its two states, and 50-plus county and community partners, the region has attracted more than 64,000 new jobs over its 45-year history. KCADC also leads the efforts behind the KC Animal Health Corridor, KC SmartPort, TeamKC, KC Global Design and KC Heartland. thinkKC.com

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