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Showing the (foreign) flag: Area still a hot spot for overseas investment (access required)

By Hannah Mitchell Even during the downturn that has weakened the greater Charlotte economy, the number of foreign-owned businesses in Mecklenburg County has increased 16 percent in the last two years. Charlotte Chamber of Commerce statistics show that last year there were 565 foreign companies in Mecklenburg, employing nearly 33,000 people and representing 39 countries. Last month, German-owned Siemens Energy Inc., a subsidiary of Siemens AG, announced it would move its gas-turbine product line from Ontario to Charlotte, hiring 825 people by 2016. The project represents the biggest manufacturing facility in Mecklenburg County since IBM’s in 1978. Just five months earlier, Siemens had said it was expanding the company’s Charlotte offices for its generator and steam-turbine businesses and moving its engineering and order-management jobs from Orlando to Charlotte, adding 226 jobs by 2015, most of them local hires.

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