Phoenix Metro Seeing a Bump in International Company Relocations

By Audrey Jensen | Phoenix Business Journal

As more manufacturers look to bring operations to the U.S., the Phoenix metro is seeing an uptick in interest from international companies considering moving to the Valley, experts say.

So far in fiscal year 2023, the Greater Phoenix Economic Council said it is working with about 61 international businesses, a quarter of its total business prospects, to find a site in the Valley — an 85% increase from about a decade ago.

This represents about 14,719 jobs and nearly $20 billion in investments and is the highest known number of international companies that have considered moving to the greater Phoenix region in recent decades, GPEC data shows.

In the past several years, the heightened interest can mostly be attributed to supply chain disruptions, a push for more domestic manufacturing, more product demand and Canadian companies eyeing sites close to California, said Chris Camacho, CEO of the economic development nonprofit.

“It’s really in electric vehicles, it’s in semiconductor and the coinciding supply chain, but it’s also in consumer product manufacturing out of Canada, for example,” he said.

Arizona has benefitted from a longstanding relationship with Canada and is a popular landing spot for Canadian companies and tourists. As of 2020, Maricopa Association of Government data shows that the hundreds of Canadian-owned employers provided jobs for more than 26,500 people in Arizona.

Of the companies currently looking at Arizona, GPEC said about eight are from Canada, a dozen are from Taiwan and others are from Japan, South Korea and other Asian countries. Increased labor costs in many Asian countries over time has also pushed more companies to consider North America and places like Mexico, which Arizona can also benefit from.

In recent years, Arizona has moved into the spotlight with plans announced for the Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. plant, Intel Corp.’s expansion, multiple electric vehicle manufacturing facilities such as Lucid Motors and Nikola and numerous suppliers to support the automotive and semiconductor industries.

Other big manufacturers that have picked Arizona in recent years also include Switzerland-based Meyer Burger and Canada-based electric vehicle maker and designer ElectraMeccanica Vehicles Corp.

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