In today’s interconnected markets, global issues are shaping European business investment in the U.S. The landscape of foreign direct investment (FDI) in the United States has seen significant growth in the past year. According to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, FDI in the US surged by $216.8 billion to reach $5.25 trillion in 2022, reflecting a substantial increase from the previous year’s $5.04 trillion. Growth was propelled by a $142.2 billion rise in investment from Europe, with prominent contributions from the United Kingdom.

The Denver South April Partnership Meeting was created to dive into the implications of these global issues shaping European business investment in the U.S. Henry Knauf, Finance Controller for Switzerland-based Mikron Corporation, and Erin Kuhn, British Consul in Colorado for the U.K. Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, shared unique perspectives on FDI in the United States. They also shared insights into the opportunities and challenges it presents for the region.

Global Issues Impacting FDI

Henry provided valuable insights into the dynamics at play within his organization. Denver South is Mikron’s second-largest office globally and its only office in the Americas. Knauf highlighted both the strength of the Denver South talent pool and the growing challenge of the region’s affordability. A decline in affordability has impacted Mikron’s ability to recruit new talent to the region.

As part of the effort to address these challenges, the company has developed an innovative apprenticeship program in collaboration with the Cherry Creek Innovation Campus. This partnership aims to nurture local talent while addressing skill shortages.

Erin then provided an overview of the UK’s economic landscape and its robust ties with the US economy. Emphasizing the strength of the UK’s economy and its significant investments in the US, Kuhn highlighted the pivotal role British companies play in driving economic growth and employment opportunities in Colorado. She highlighted how the UK-Colorado relationship underscores the economic importance of transatlantic partnerships.

Strengths of Denver South and FDI

During the Q&A session, discussions delved into the economic prospects of Switzerland and the UK. This discussion shed light on factors influencing international expansion decisions. Strengths and weaknesses of the Denver South region were also analyzed. Both presenters highlighted Denver South’s robust talent pool and strategic location as key assets.

In addition, Kuhn spoke to Denver’s rising profile as a landing spot for British companies, with its connectivity, high quality of life, and affordability compared to the East or West Coast, where British companies often landed 20 years ago.

To strengthen ties with international markets, leveraging partnerships with entities like consulates emerged as a crucial strategy. Kuhn emphasized the role of the Consul in de-risking processes and facilitating collaborations, thereby enhancing opportunities for international engagement.

Denver South’s Impact on Growth

When asked specifically how Denver South as an organization has aided Mikron’s growth in Colorado, Knauf highlighted Denver South’s efforts to connect Mikron to incentives. These incentives were imperative in facilitating the company’s rapid expansion in the US. Additionally, Knauf praised Denver South’s efforts in helping to bring public transportation options to the Mikron office as critical to the company’s ability to attract and retain talent.

Denver South’s proactive approach towards fostering international partnerships and supporting businesses underscores its commitment to driving economic growth and innovation in the region. As global dynamics evolve, nurturing such collaborations will be essential in positioning Denver South as a hub for international investment and economic flourishing.


To view Henry’s presentation deck, click here.

To view Erin’s presentation deck, click here.

Our June Partnership Meeting will be held Thursday, June 6th at AMG National Trust. Register for our June Partnership Meeting here.