ESD Announces Global NY Foreign Direct Investment Road Show Tours Finger Lakes Region

Representatives from 25 Countries and Territories Explored Foreign Investment Opportunities at Business and Research Sites in the Greater Rochester area

Empire State Development (ESD) today announced that representatives from 25 foreign countries and territories toured business, tourism and academic locations in the Finger Lakes Region as part of an initiative to attract Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) to New York State. The two-day Global NY FDI Road Show made stops at several locations in the region on Monday and Tuesday with 34 consuls general and other foreign representatives in attendance.  The tour complements Finger Lakes Forward, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s successful blueprint for regional economic development.

“When Governor Cuomo says 'New York is open for business’ it’s a statement of fact. There has never been a better time to invest in New York State, with the resurgence of optimism and job growth that we are seeing in upstate," said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul. “New York is home to endless natural resources, incredible economic opportunities, an infrastructure that is becoming increasingly modernized by the day and some of the finest academic institutions. Global NY is providing a two-way connection between New York State and the world economy, transmitting that message around the world and improving our standing in the global marketplace.”

“To know, firsthand, the experience that the Finger Lakes area has had in the economic, commercial, educational, innovation and entrepreneurial fronts, will certainly contribute to the strengthening of the relations of this region with the 48 countries that are grouped in the Society of Foreign Consuls,” said Maria Isabel Nieto, Colombian Consul General and President of the Society of Foreign Consuls in New York (SOFC).  “We look forward to spreading the word amongst the international community about the wealth of opportunities in this region that may lead to businesses locating and creating jobs in Upstate New York.”

“Under Governor Cuomo’s leadership, New York's talented workforce is succeeding in the global marketplace,” said ESD President, CEO & Commissioner Howard Zemsky. “And with nearly 2,000 international companies operating in New York – including close to 600 manufacturers – foreign direct investment is now driving job creation in several key industries across the state.”

The foreign representatives traveled with several Global NY officials from New York City to the Finger Lakes Region. Their first stop was at the George Eastman Museum where they received a guided tour, followed by a reception at the Woodcliff Hotel and Spa in Fairport. They heard from several speakers, including Empire State Development Global NY Senior Vice President Erin Cole; Empire State Development Finger Lakes Regional Director Vinnie Esposito; Monroe County Executive Cheryl Dinolfo; and Consul General Maria Isabel Nietro of Columbia, who also serves as president of the Society of Foreign Consuls in New York.

The next day, the group visited Eastman Business Park (EBP) where they received an economic overview of the region from Greater Rochester Enterprise, Genesee County Economic Development, Visit Rochester and Eastman Business Park representatives.   While at EBP, they also heard from industry leaders and City of Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren. 

The tour concluded with a stop at Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT). The group received an overview on international enrollment and international student services, a briefing on RIT’s research and development capabilities, and a tour of the Golisano Institute of Sustainability and Center for Electronics Manufacturing & Assembly and the AMP Print Center and Battery Prototyping Center. 

Global NY offers one-stop shopping to both local businesses that want to export globally and to foreign businesses looking to invest in New York. For more information, visit or call (212) 803-2300.

Accelerating Finger Lakes Forward

Today’s announcement complements “Finger Lakes Forward,” the region’s comprehensive blueprint to generate robust economic growth and community development. The State has already invested more than $3.4 billion in the region since 2012 to lay the groundwork for the plan – investing in key industries including photonics, agriculture and food production, and advanced manufacturing. Today, unemployment is down to the lowest levels since before the Great Recession; personal and corporate income taxes are down; and businesses are choosing places like Rochester, Batavia and Canandaigua as a destination to grow and invest in.

Now, the region is accelerating Finger Lakes Forward with a $500 million State investment through the Upstate Revitalization Initiative, announced by Governor Cuomo in December 2015. The State’s $500 million investment will incentivize private business to invest well over $2.5 billion – and the region’s plan, as submitted, projects up to 8,200 new jobs. More information is available here.​ 



Laura Magee (ESD) | [email protected]  | (716) 846-8239

ESD Press Office | [email protected] | (800) 260-7313