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Spanning the Globe: How South Carolina Draws International Investment

Top employers from around the world are choosing South Carolina to expand their businesses.

By Bill Lewis on January 24, 2020

South Carolina Manufacturing
South Carolina / Courtesy of Volvo

In 2019 alone, South Carolina won 129 economic development projects, accounting for $2.4 billion in capital investment and 9,402 new jobs across the state.

Some of the largest investments are by global businesses. In fact, the Palmetto State is home to more than 1,200 operations of foreign-based companies, employing more than 140,000 workers within its borders. Among the companies are global giants BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Michelin.

Some, like General Electric or Sweden-based Volvo, are household names. The automaker is investing an additional $520 million in its Berkeley County operations and creating 1,910 more jobs. This new commitment brings Volvo’s total investment to more than $1 billion. The company is creating a total of 3,900 jobs.

Volvo also selected Berkeley County for an 88,000-square-foot office facility that will employ up to 300 new workers.

Home Sweet Home: Newcomers Embrace South Carolina

Global Investment

Other investments are by important companies you might not be as familiar with, like Sundaram-Clayton Limited (SCL). This India-based company is a leading manufacturer and supplier of aluminum cast products to global original equipment manufacturers. SCL is expanding its Dorchester County operations and creating 100 jobs with a new $40 million investment.

“The United States has always been an important market for us. To serve this market better, we have established a manufacturing base in Dorchester County in South Carolina, given the strategic business advantages, including an excellent business environment and a well-qualified workforce,†says Lakshmi Venu, SCL joint managing director.

South Carolina Auto Manufacturing
South Carolina / Volvo

Diverse Businesses

South Carolina has created an impressive record of expansion and investment across sectors as diverse as advanced materials, food production, financial services and information technology. Employers are drawn by affordability and an outstanding quality of life, among other things, making it easy to recruit and retain top talent.

With its skilled workforce and logistics advantages, such as the Port of Charleston, South Carolina is also a major exporter. For the ninth consecutive year, the state set a record for exports in 2018, totaling $34.6 billion in export sales.

Businesses across a wide range of sectors are growing. The presence of Boeing, which assembles the 787 Dreamliner in South Carolina, has fueled growth in the state’s aerospace sector, which numbers 400 companies and delivers an economic impact of $19 billion.

Canada’s Evanesce Packaging Solutions, based in Vancouver, chose to locate its first large-scale production operation in Colleton County. The facility, which will manufacture compostable food service trays, represents a $70 million investment and is expected to create 368 new jobs over five years.

Evanesce was founded in response to the growing need to replace existing packaging technology with compostable, organic, sustainable alternatives.

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Creating Jobs

RoundPoint Mortgage Servicing Corp., a residential mortgage-servicing company, selected York County for its corporate headquarters. The company is investing $34 million and expects to create 1,100 new jobs. 

“Establishing our new headquarters here is an important part of our vision and growth plan as we add new employees to transform our business and achieve our aggressive business goals,†says Kevin Brungardt, RoundPoint Mortgage CEO.

Expansions of existing businesses are also a key element of growth for the state. One example is Coca-Cola Consolidated’s decision to construct a new $5 million sales and distribution center in Ridgeland. The company announced the creation of at least 20 new jobs.

Coca-Cola Consolidated has seven locations in South Carolina and employs more than 1,200 people in the state.

“Coke Consolidated has a rich history in South Carolina, and this investment reinforces the commitment we have to the state. This new facility will help us operate more efficiently to better serve our retail customers and loyal customers throughout the region while creating jobs,†says Coca-Cola Consolidated Branch Manager Steve Curtis.

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