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Hogan announces new Maryland initiative will serve foreign companies

A new program designed to help foreign companies relocate to Maryland and do business in the United States is up and running, Gov. Larry Hogan said.

The governor, addressing the World Economic Forum in Switzerland this week, touted the state’s infrastructure and work force development, pointing to the Global Gateway Initiative, which provides $2 million in state funding to help foreign companies get established in the state.

The initiative, which is administered by the state’s Department of Commerce, is a program that is designed to attract international businesses to Maryland while at the same time easing their transition into the market by matching them with business incubators and accelerators, according to a release.

“As we continue to have one of the strongest recoveries in the world, we want to be as aggressive as possible and kick this initiative into high gear,” Hogan said in the release. “Our state is worth the attention and investment of even more international companies, and now we look forward to making it easier than ever to forge closer ties with partners across the globe.”

Maryland, according to the release, currently has 20 accelerators and incubators operating throughout the state who are enrolled in the program. The initiative builds on the state’s Soft Landing Program, which is designed to grow the state’s slate of international companies.

According to the release, the state has attracted Hitachi Rail, a manufacturer of rail cars, to Washington County; Ellume, a diagnostic test maker to Frederick; and Zim Shipping Lines into the Port of Baltimore.

The program will provide payments to the first 50 businesses that enroll in the international program. Funds can be used for rent payments, company registration, marketing efforts, and supporting incubators with website improvements. Funding can also be used to launch innovative labs with L Marks, according to the release.

The state investment into the program will also provide the Department of Commerce the ability to extend opportunities for training and market development, in addition to counseling to companies needing guidance on registering the business, along with other services and resources.

“International companies spend billions on research and development activities in the U.S. every year,” Maryland Commerce Secretary Mike Gill said in the release. “Enhancing the state’s soft landing program will continue attracting these global businesses to Maryland and keep us top of mind for those looking for a strategic location along the East Coast.”

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