Welcome to the State of North Carolina

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Experience Growth from the Mountains to the Coast

With an overall GDP comparable to Sweden, North Carolina (over 10,5 million inhabitants) is located in the middle of the East Coast. Its top-notch airports in the cities of Charlotte and Raleigh are directly connected with Europe and the entire US market. Over 1000 European companies are already present across the state, profiting from its unique business climate, low taxes (2,5% corporate income tax) and quality of life ("Best State for Business" according to a yearly ranking published by Forbes Magazine: https://www.forbes.com/best-states-for-business/list/).

Our diverse economy is particularly strong in the manufacturing sector (segments such as automotive, aerospace and machinery), life science (1st biomanufacturing cluster in the USA and a very strong pharmaceutical cluster as well), financial services (the city of Charlotte is the 2nd financial hub in the USA, hosting Bank of America and Wells Fargo) and ICT (data analytics and cybersecurity is our focus, through companies such as IBM, Citrix and Microsoft).



North Carolina not only hosts the largest manufacturing workforce and economy in the South-eastern United States, and the biggest research and technology park in North America (the Research Triangle Park hosts 50.000 tech professionals - https://www.rtp.org/), but is sustained by a thriving university and research ecosystem. Its academic and R&D landscape include NC State University (4th largest engineering college in the USA), Duke University, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the NC Biotech Center, the Nonwovens Institute at NC State University and multiple technical colleges and professional schools, often modeled after the German Dual Education Apprenticeship System. Of utmost importance, North Carolina is the 3rd fastest-growing state in the Country, guaranteeing a skilled and available workforce for your company.

Economic overview: https://edpnc.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/9919_General-Brochure_AB.pdf

Main sectors: https://edpnc.com/industries/

Market reports: https://edpnc.com/industry-reports-and-publications/

Annual report 2020: https://edpnc-emergingstronger.com


Workforce & Education:

North Carolina’s commitment to innovation and state-of-the-art research and educational facilities has transformed North Carolina into a forward-thinking, knowledge-based economy with the largest advanced manufacturing workforce in the southeastern United States.

A Right-to-Work state, North Carolina boasts an impressive array of vocationally trained workers and those with advanced degrees. 475,000+ manufacturing employees is the largest in the region, and our talent pipeline is full of roughly 158,000+ postsecondary degree and certificate recipients each year.

North Carolina has 53 colleges and universities, among which are three Tier 1 research universities — NCSU, Duke and the UNC. The publicly funded university system draws students from all over the world to its 17 institutions. Additionally, NC enrolls more than 680,000 students each year at the 58-campus community college system state-wide, offering some of the most comprehensive and advanced vocational and technical programs in the United States.

Link: Workforce & Education


Business Climate: North Carolina is recognized for its pro-business environment:

Forbes Magazine has ranked North Carolina #1 State for doing business three consecutive years.

2.5% corporate tax – lowest corporate income tax rate in the United States.

Ernst & Young and the Council on State Taxation rank North Carolina a top three state for lowest state and local tax burden in the country.

North Carolina’s business costs rank among the lowest in the nation, making it a more profitable place to work: Building costs: 16% below the national average. Electricity costs: 10 % below the national average. Cost of living: up to 12 % below the national average.

Link: Business Climate


Infrastructure & Location:

North Carolina’s prime location on the eastern seaboard means that almost half of the U.S. population is within a day’s drive. Four international airports, two deep water seaports and a strong rail system further enhance the state’s supply chain advantages:


Sea Ports:

  • Port of Morehead City, General cargo and bulk handling facilities, direct access to I-40, I-74, I-95, U.S. 17 and U.S. 74, serviced by Norfolk Southern.
  • Port of Wilmington, Container and general operations, access to I-95 and I-40 via U.S. 70 and U.S. 17, serviced by CSX.
  • North Carolina’s extensive transportation network also allows for quick and easy access to other major U.S. seaports such as Norfolk, VA, Charleston, SC, and Savannah, GA.

Rail: Largest consolidated rail system in the country

North Carolina’s rail connections extend all the way to the coast, enabling the state ports in Morehead City and Wilmington to offer import and export services to a large market:

  • More than 3,200 miles (5,100 km) of track
  • Two Class 1 Carriers: CSX Transportation and Norfolk Southern
  • Direct service to North American markets and to all major ports along the U.S. East Coast

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Link: Infrastructure & Location


Quality of Life:

With a moderate climate throughout the year, North Carolina is renowned for its natural beauty and diverse geography. Residents and visitors can enjoy the iconic mountains on the western end of the state, bustling city skylines in the middle region, and 300 miles of beautiful beaches on the coast.

With cost of living well below the national average, an affordable healthcare and great educational system, North Carolina also offers a wide variety of cultural and outdoor recreational activities.

Link: Quality of Life



North Carolina’s targeted, performance-based incentive programs help companies that are locating and doing business in North Carolina by lessening the tax burden and lowering overall costs to the company.

  • North Carolina’s County development tier system is incorporated into various state programs to encourage economic activity in the less prosperous areas of the state.
  • JDIG - Job Development Investment Grant - is a performance-based, discretionary incentive program that provides cash grants directly to new and expanding businesses.
  • One North Carolina Fund – NC state cash-grant program
  • Building Reuse and Demolition Programs
  • Public Infrastructure Development Programs
  • Joint Economic Transportation Development Programs
  • Workforce Training and Development
  • Tax Exemptions

Link: Incentives


What We Can Do To Help You:

We provide - entirely free of charge - market entry services, real estate assistance, sector-specific business information, strategic introductions to universities, technical colleges, and professional recruitment channels, as well as fiscal incentives.

Our state agency helps companies who are considering launching new operations or expanding existing ones in the USA through governmental support. EDPNC can assign financial & tax incentives while sharing strategic contacts offered by the State of North Carolina.

The European office of North Carolina´s Economic Development Agency is led by Luigi Mercuri and Archibald Astley-Corbett - EDPNC - www.edpnc.com. The EDPNC is supported by North Carolina´s Department of Commerce. We assist European companies in English, German, French, Italian and Spanish.

If you have further questions or would like to receive additional information on how we can support your business growth and US presence in North Carolina, please contact:

Luigi Mercuri

Managing Director of Investment Europe

Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina

Mobile: +49 (0)1522 4385 559

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Web: www.edpnc.com

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State Governor: Roy Cooper (D)

Secretary of Commerce: Machelle Sanders

Contact Info North Carolina

Contact Name: Luigi Mercuri, Managing Director of Investment Europe

Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina

Mobile: +49 (0)1522 4385 559

Email: luigi.mercuri@edpnc.com

Web: www.edpnc.com | video

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State Demographics North Carolina

Region: Southeast
Population: 10.6 million (2020)
Gross State Product: $498.7 billion (2020)
Exports: $28.4 billion (2020)
Labor Force: 4.7 million (2020)
Unemployment Rate: 4 % (2019)
Per capita real GDP: $ 48,496 (2019)
Capital City: Raleigh
Principal Cities: Charlotte, Greensboro, Durham, Winston-Salem, Fayetteville

North Carolina Events Calendar

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