World News

    US Is Looking for Job-Creating Foreign Investors

    The U.S. is embarking on a new effort to attract more foreign investment to boost the sluggishly advancing American economy.

    The U.S. boasts the world's largest economy, but President Barack Obama announced plans Thursday to start a national government effort to lure more overseas companies to its shores, especially businesses that would expand the U.S. labor market. Until now, such missions to attract offshore investments have typically been left to governors of the 50 U.S. states and mayors of big cities.

    The White House said it would use its SelectUSA program to make job-creating foreign investment a priority at its embassies overseas. It said the focus first would be on 32 key regional markets that already account for 90 percent of foreign investment in the U.S.

    In the past, senior government leaders have often made pitches to individual foreign companies, but the new effort calls for a more coordinated effort that includes officials all the way up to Mr. Obama. The president and key government economic officials are hosting the country's first Investment Summit Thursday and Friday in Washington, an event that has attracted 1,200 visitors from 60 countries.

    In a speech at the gathering, Mr. Obama cited numerous foreign companies that have already opened U.S. operations. He told the group he wants foreign business executives to know there is "no better place in the world to do business" than the U.S.



    "History shows over the last two centuries that when you bet on America, that bet pays off."



    The new investment search appears to be a recognition that the U.S. is not always viewed as a favorable venue for business investment, especially compared to countries where companies routinely pay workers much lower wages.

    As recently as 2000, the U.S. attracted 37 percent of the world's foreign investment, a share that has fallen to 17 percent. Foreign companies made $166 billion in direct investments in the U.S. last year, a 28 percent drop from 2011.

    The U.S. economy is advancing at slightly more than a 2 percent annual pace. But even as it edges ahead, the country's jobless rate has by its historical standards remained at an elevated figure, 7.2 percent in September. Some economists say the U.S. government's recent 16-day partial shutdown will take $24 billion out of the economy in the last three months of the year.

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnami
    X
    Elizabeth Lee
    May 22, 2016 6:04 AM
    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnam

    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video First-generation, Afghan-American Student Sets Sights on Basketball Glory

    Their parents are immigrants to the United States. They are kids who live between two worlds -- their parents' homeland and the U.S. For many of them, they feel most "American" at school. It can be tricky balancing both worlds. In this report, produced by Beth Mendelson, Arash Arabasadi tells us about one Afghan-American student who seems to be coping -- one shot at a time.
    Video

    Video Newest US Citizens, Writing the Next Great Chapter

    While universities across the United States honor their newest graduates this Friday, many immigrants in downtown Manhattan are celebrating, too. One hundred of them, representing 31 countries across four continents, graduated as U.S. citizens, joining the ranks of 680,000 others every year in New York and cities around the country.
    Video

    Video Vietnam Sees Strong Economic Growth Despite Incomplete Reforms

    Vietnam has transformed its communist economy to become one of the world's fastest-growing nations. While the reforms are incomplete, multinational corporations see a profitable future in Vietnam and have made major investments -- as VOA's Jim Randle reports.
    Video

    Video Qatar Denies World Cup Corruption

    The head of Qatar’s organizing committee for the 2022 World Cup insists his country's bid to host the soccer tournament was completely clean, despite the corruption scandals that have rocked the sport’s governing body, FIFA. Hassan Al-Thawadi also said new laws would offer protection to migrants working on World Cup construction projects. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Infrastructure Funding Puts Cambodia on Front Line of International Politics

    When leaders of the world’s seven most developed economies meet in Japan next week, demands for infrastructure investment world wide will be high on the agenda. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s push for “quality infrastructure investment” throughout Asia has been widely viewed as a counter to the rise of Chinese investment flooding into region.
    Video

    Video Democrats Fear Party Unity a Casualty in Clinton-Sanders Battle

    Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton claimed a narrow victory in Tuesday's Kentucky primary even as rival Bernie Sanders won in Oregon. Tensions between the two campaigns are rising, prompting fears that the party will have a difficult time unifying to face the presumptive Republican nominee, Donald Trump. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Portrait of a Transgender Marriage: Husband and Wife Navigate New Roles

    As controversy continues in North Carolina over the use of public bathrooms by transgender individuals, personal struggles with gender identity that were once secret are now coming to light. VOA’s Tina Trinh explored the ramifications for one couple as part of trans.formation, a series of stories on transgender issues.
    Video

    Video Amerikan Hero Flips Stereotype of Middle Eastern Character

    An Iranian American comedian is hoping to connect with American audiences through a film that inverts some of Hollywood's stereotypes about Middle Eastern characters. Sama Dizayee reports.
    Video

    Video Budding Young Inventors Tackle City's Problems with 3-D Printing

    Every city has problems, and local officials and politicians are often frustrated by their inability to solve them. But surprising solutions can come from unexpected places. Students in Baltimore. Maryland, took up the challenge to solve problems they identified in their city, and came up with projects and products to make a difference. VOA's June Soh has more on a digital fabrication competition primarily focused on 3-D design and printing. Carol Pearson narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora