Chicago Leads U.S. in Foreign Direct Investment


The best description of Chicago is the simplest: we are hub for business both domestically and abroad. Everything in the world flows through our diverse ecosystem, including robust international business. In fact, for the sixth year in a row, the Chicago metropolitan area leads the U.S. in foreign direct investment (FDI) according to the 2018 IBM Global Location Trends report. The annual report found that Chicago has risen in a the rankings only trailing London, Paris, Singapore, and Amsterdam-Rotterdam.


“Time and again, Chicago has proven itself as a leader in the global economy,”

-Mayor Rahm Emanuel


“Time and again, Chicago has proven itself as a leader in the global economy,” said Mayor Rahm Emanuel. “This report shows that Chicago is a city where businesses from around the world want to locate and grow, creating jobs and economic opportunities across the city. I look forward to continuing to grow this impact into the future for all Chicagoans.”

A center of international business activity, Chicago today is home to more than 1,800 foreign-based companies, accounting for more than $100 billion in foreign direct investment. In 2018, ten foreign-based countries added nearly 1,000 (905) new jobs to Chicago.

  • Solstice, 150+ jobs
  • Morton Salt, 20+ jobs
  • DMG Mori USA, 100+ jobs
  • HERE Holding Corp., 200 jobs
  • Toyoko Inn USA Inc., 100 jobs
  • BMW Technology Corp., 100 jobs
  • Ansarada, 75 jobs
  • Rio Tinto, 70 jobs
  • Beam Suntory, 60 jobs
  • Komatsu American Corp., 300 jobs

World Business Chicago continuously works to increase foreign direct investment with initiatives including its Gateway Cities agreement with eight Chinese cities, Global Cities Economic Partnership with Mexico City, Chicago-London City Data Alliance, and Tel Aviv-Yafo –Chicago Partnership.


“Our work to advance Chicago’s global economic strategy is making a strong impact throughout the city,” said Andrea Zopp. “By creating economic partnerships around the world and growing our international network, we ensure that Chicago leads on the global stage.”

-Andy Zopp, President & CEO World Business Chicago


Just this summer, Mayor Emanuel and Andrea Zopp, President and CEO of World Business Chicago, led an economic mission to China and Japan to bolster Chicago’s economic ties with both countries. In Japan, the Mayor signed the first-ever economic agreement between the Japanese government and a city anywhere in the world.

“Our work to advance Chicago’s global economic strategy is making a strong impact throughout the city,” said Andrea Zopp. “By creating economic partnerships around the world and growing our international network, we ensure that Chicago leads on the global stage.”

The IBM Global Location Trends Report shows where companies are locating, expanding, and creating jobs around the world. Projects must meet IBM criteria, including having created more than 10 jobs, to qualify. View the complete IBM report here.

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