Foreign Trade Commissioners Discover Global Investment Opportunities in Westchester
OCTOBER 09, 2014
The WCA Shines an International Spotlight on Westchester County’s Assets
All eyes are on Westchester County as a place for international companies to start and grow business, which is why 40 foreign trade commissioners gathered at the WCA’s International Showcase, held at Morgan Stanley, to find out about the county’s excellent opportunities for foreign investment and partnership. The showcase was organized by the WCA’s BLUEPRINT for Westchester, an aggressive campaign driven by the private sector to spur economic vitality in Westchester.
“Why come to Westchester? For starters, it’s one of the world’s largest metro markets,” stressed Kevin Plunkett, Westchester’s Deputy County Executive. “And we’re home to some of the most respected companies in the world. We have first-class office space at a fraction of the cost as compared to Manhattan; we have a well-educated workforce; and we have an award-winning transportation system. You can grow here. The county is ready to work with you.”
Plunkett presented an array of monetary benefits offered through the county’s Industrial Development Agency (IDA) and Local Development Corporation (LDC), such as sales tax and mortgage tax exemptions, and tax-exempt bond financing.
After guests took a peek at Morgan Stanley’s facilities, they were shepherded to a special reception where Marissa Brett, WCA president, welcomed everyone and extolled the virtues of doing business here. “We’re thrilled to have 36 countries represented here, viewing Westchester as a destination for global business,” she said. “Westchester County has much to offer to those who choose to invest, live, and work here: convenience, affordability, and excellent transportation—not to mention our high-quality lifestyle and welcoming business climate.”
James Jesse, head of the International Wealth Management Division at Morgan Stanley, also addressed the commissioners. He emphasized Westchester’s location as a prime asset for potential investors and future employees. “In basing our global business here, Morgan Stanley chose to invest in Westchester. The county’s proximity to New York City is strategic for our clients, and a benefit for our employees, who enjoy the quality of life here.”
After experiencing the WCA’s International Showcase, Ralph Chow, regional director, Hong Kong Trade Development Council, said he would definitely consider business opportunities here.
“We see a lot of businesses here, like banks and biotech companies, that we can partner with. We’re also looking for biotech and green technologies to acquire from the United States, and I discovered several opportunities I was not aware of before.”
Zwanette Bruggink agreed. “It was interesting to discover the new biotechnology incubator at New York Medical College,” said Bruggink, economic development officer at the Consulate General of the Netherlands in New York. “We were also eager to hear about the WCA’s accelerator program [BLUEPRINT Accelerator Network] for startup companies.”
The commissioners were chauffeured from New York City to Westchester, where they boarded a coach for a tour of Westchester County’s prime commercial properties, cultural amenities, shopping destinations, educational institutions, and city attractions. The tour concluded at Morgan Stanley’s worldwide headquarters in Purchase, New York.
The International Showcase was organized by The BLUEPRINT for Westchester, which fosters major collaborations with the county’s real estate, business, and academic sectors, and strong participation from Westchester’s six cities and County government.