Named the best city in the United States and Canada by “Travel + Leisure” magazine, Charleston in South Carolina is a popular destination for foreign investment. With more than 180 multinational firms operating in the region, the community currently ranks ninth among U.S. metro areas for foreign direct investment. 

One of the factors attracting these investors is Charleston’s strategic location. The metro region is home to both South Carolina’s busiest airport (Charleston International) and North America’s most productive and efficient seaport. 

“We’re halfway between New York and Miami. One-third of the U.S. population resides within 500 miles of Charleston. This provides great access to the entire Southeastern U.S., which is critical for our aerospace, automotive and logistics sectors,” said Michael Graney, Charleston Regional Development Alliance vice president of Business Development.

While South Carolina is becoming an increasingly popular location for Japanese investment, several companies such as Showa Denko Carbon, Sun Chemical, Ricoh, Shimano, and TBC Corporation have already well-established roots in Charleston. In fact, Japan is among the top five trading partners of the region, which excels in the aerospace, automotive, information technology and life sciences sectors.

To further accommodate Japanese investors and executives in the region, Charleston has implemented a Global Fluency Initiative to better serve the growing Japanese community. 

“We launched a specific welcoming guide — CharlestonCommunityGuide.com — for our international residents so that they have a better understanding of the resources available to them here in Charleston. We want to connect with our Japanese community and make them feel at home,” said Graney.