ADVANTAGES

Alabama’s international business connection is flourishing.

The state hosts many of the biggest international manufacturers, producing everything from passenger jets to minivans. Alabama has become a favored destination for foreign direct investment, attracting more than $1 billion of it in 2014 alone. Alabama exports have been growing, with shipments going to around 200 countries a year.

Foreign direct investment in Alabama

Top Five Countries

flag-germany

flag France

flag Canada

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Country

Companies

Germany 72
Japan 66
South Korea 63
Canada 48
France 40
United Kingdom 27
Brazil 18
Netherlands 12
Switzerland 12
Australia 9
Ireland 9
Belgium 6
Austria 5
Finland 5
Italy 5

Country

Companies

Mexico 5
China 4
Denmark 3
Spain 3
Israel 2
Saudi Arabia 2
Taiwan 2
Colombia 1
Greece 1
India 1
Kuwait 1
Luxembourg 1
Norway 1
Singapore 1
Thailand 1

map

INVESTMENT

$24.5 Billion

in FDI (1999-2014)

WORKFORCE

87,050 Employed

by Foreign-owned Firms (2011)

MISC.

30 Countries

Represented in Alabama FDI

EXPORTS

115% Increase

in Alabama Exports (2004-2014)

Profile

Alabama is home to an impressive — and expanding — roster of international companies: Mercedes-Benz, Airbus, Honda, Toyota, Hyundai, Austal and many others. Thanks to the success these companies have found in Alabama, the state has become a magnet for foreign direct investment, or FDI. In 2013 and 2014, Alabama attracted $2.5 billion in FDI, creating nearly 6,000 jobs, mostly in manufacturing. Germany, Japan, South Korea and Canada are Alabama’s top sources of foreign investment.

Alabama’s automotive manufacturing industry has largely been built through foreign investment, and that momentum shows no signs of slowing. In 2015, Mercedes-Benz announced a $1.3 billion expansion at its Tuscaloosa County assembly plant, pushing its total investment in Alabama to $5.8 billion. A vast majority of the 38,000 Alabamians working in the auto industry are employed by foreign-owned companies. The Global Cities Initiative, a research project, found that one-quarter of all Alabama jobs tied to foreign investment were in the auto industry in 2011. With France-owned Airbus now assembling its A320 family of passenger jets in Mobile, aerospace-related FDI is poised to accelerate in Alabama.

At the same time, Alabama’s export machine has been revving up. In 2014, the value of Alabama exports exceeded $19.5 billion, reflecting a 57 percent gain since 2009 and a 115 percent increase over a decade. Canada remains the top destination for Alabama-made goods, with shipments totaling $4.2 billion in 2014. Other top destinations are China, Mexico, Germany, the United Kingdom, South Korea and Japan. Motor vehicles and parts are the state’s No. 1 export category, totaling $7.3 billion in 2014. Industrial machines, minerals, iron and steel, plastics, chemicals, and aircraft and aircraft parts represent other key export categories.

D'Andre Wright
D'Andre WrightEconomic Development Representative
205.257.5301

Business Climate

Quality of Life