Nov 15, 2023 - News

North Carolina is a hotspot for foreign investment

Best cities for foreign businesses
Data: FT-Nikkei Investing in America ranking; Map: Jared Whalen/Axios

North Carolina's cities land among the best in the U.S. for foreign companies to do business in an annual ranking compiled by the Financial Times and Nikkei.

Why it matters: Foreign investment bolsters an area's economy and adds to its employment and tax base.

Driving the news: Charlotte ranked No. 8, Greensboro No. 9, Raleigh No. 14 and Durham No. 20.

  • Only Texas had more cities in the top 20.

Zoom in: Some of the state's biggest economic development wins in recent time have come from foreign company expansions, including Vietnamese EV maker VinFast in Chatham County, Japanese biotech company Fujifilm Diosynth in Wake County, Indian battery maker Epsilon in Brunswick County and Toyota's battery plant in Randolph County.

Between the lines: FT-Nikkei ranked cities using more than four dozen metrics.

  • Raleigh and Durham scored high in several key areas — notably workforce and talent and investment trends — but low in the aftercare category, which looks at the administrative support cities provide to foreign companies after making the decision to invest.

State of play: The past two years have been an especially fruitful period for foreign investment, as EV makers and clean energy companies anticipate a surging demand for batteries and electric vehicles.

  • "Every state here in the Southeast is trying to lay claim to being the clean energy or the EV capital of the world," Christopher Chung, chief executive of the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina, told the FT.

See the full ranking


Get more local stories in your inbox with Axios Raleigh.


Support local journalism by becoming a member.

Learn more

More Raleigh stories

No stories could be found


Get a free daily digest of the most important news in your backyard with Axios Raleigh.


Support local journalism by becoming a member.

Learn more