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P.O. Box 5190
Kent, OH 44242
Phone: 330-672-4080
or 800-793-0912
International: 001-330-672-4080
Email: mmorgan@neotec.org

NEOTEC Establishes European Partnership to Attract Foreign Direct Investment to Northeast Ohio

KENT, OHIO, June 11, 2009 – The Northeast Ohio Trade & Economic Consortium (NEOTEC) recently established a European partnership with OCO Global, an international consultancy firm based in Belfast, Ireland, to attract foreign direct investment to Northeast Ohio. The partnership is part of NEOTEC’s Global Business Development Initiative (GBDI), a program implemented earlier in 2009 to facilitate economic growth in the region through export development and by securing foreign direct investment (FDI). NEOTEC is a private, nonprofit economic development partnership of 10 Northeast Ohio counties.

The contract establishing the partnership was signed at OCO’s Brussels office by Ron DeBarr, president and CEO of NEOTEC, and Chuck Keiper, Portage County Commissioner and Chairman of the Northeast Ohio Joint Office of Economic Development (JOED), NEOTEC’s public sector parent organization. Through OCO Global, which is the leading FDI specialist in Europe, NEOTEC will identify priority source markets and sectors in Europe, develop a database of prospects with U.S. expansion plans, organize one-on-one meetings with prospects at European trade shows, and identify qualified leads in order to secure investment in Northeast Ohio.

“This partnership enables NEOTEC to get a first-hand analysis of specific European markets and get up close to the companies that have U.S. expansion plans,” explained Keiper. “Having representation in Europe will give us direct opportunities to deliver our message about the many advantages that Northeast Ohio has to offer the foreign investor,” Keiper said.

According to DeBarr, OCO will schedule and promote Northeast Ohio and act as an extension of the NEOTEC staff. “NEOTEC recognizes that changing strategies are necessary to fully integrate Northeast Ohio into the global economy,” DeBarr said. “This partnership is a cornerstone of our efforts to elevate the profile of Northeast Ohio on the international stage. We are implementing global marketing strategies to position the region as a preferred location for foreign companies serving North American markets, and offering a Global Rapid Response Team to ease the location process for foreign companies.”

DeBarr said that NEOTEC partners with the Ohio Department of Development Global Markets Division and the U.S. Department of Commerce Invest in America program to further promote its FDI efforts. In addition, DeBarr said that NEOTEC is at the forefront of export development in the region through the services of its International Trade Assistance Center (ITAC) division, which offers export counseling assistance to area businesses.

NEOTEC is a regional economic development partnership of 10 Northeast Ohio counties. In addition to the Global Business Development Initiative and International Trade Assistance Center, NEOTEC programs include the administration of Foreign-Trade Zone 181, which is a unique global supply chain management tool that levels the playing field with foreign competition; and the Northeast Ohio Logistics Network, an organization of logistics and management professionals working together to help improve regional market access.

For more information, contact Ron DeBarr at 330-672-4080 or via e-mail at rdebarr@neotec.org.