California has population of 40 million and a Gross State Product of US$2.7 trillion (S$3.6 trillion) in 2020. If it were a country, California would be the fifth largest economy in the world, surpassing that of the United Kingdom and France.
The key drivers of California’s economy include manufacturing, high tech, aerospace and defence, agriculture and agritech, biotech, clean tech, zero emission vehicles, tourism, film & television, and wood product & biomass.
Bank on California’s large consumer market and industry strengths to gain a head start for your company in the US.
California has a huge and very affluent market made up of cosmopolitan, liberal, trendsetting consumers with diverse tastes and preferences. The San Francisco Bay Area had the nation's highest Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per capita of US$94,000 (S$126,900) in 2020.
The high spending power of Californians makes the state an ideal launchpad for your consumer or real estate business.
Increasing trade between the US and Asia has developed California into a global gateway for the movement of both domestic and foreign goods. Supply chain drives one-third of the state’s economy, creating millions of direct and indirect jobs through one of the country’s most extensive, complex, and interconnected freight systems in the nation. There is ever-increasing demand for large-scale warehousing operations.
The industry is rapidly adopting new technologies to improve efficiency and productivity, optimise capacity and reduce costs. These include autonomous vehicles, drones, logistics management mobile applications and virtual reality.
Explore breaking into the US market through supporting the current players in the industry with technological solutions.
California dominates the intellectual property creation landscape in the US. California-based people and companies successfully filed more than 50,490 patents in 2020.
California’s tech workforce is 1.88 million strong – nearly twice as many as the next ranked state. Seven of the world’s top ten artificial intelligence (AI) investors are based in California and nearly half of all venture capital dollars in AI went to California.
Consider setting up your technology firm in California to tap the state’s easy access to capital and world-class university research network that supports its high-tech dominance.
Silicon Valley is the world’s first and most premier global centre for innovation, social media, technology, and venture capital. It is the biggest high-tech manufacturing centre in the US. It is also home to the headquarters of 39 Fortune 1000 businesses and thousands of startups. One-third of all of venture capital investment in the US goes to Silicon Valley.
On a smaller scale, Silicon Beach hosts over 500 tech startups and branch offices of major technology companies, such as Facebook, Google, Yahoo! and YouTube. It is also the birthplace of several mobile ventures such as Snapchat and Tinder.
Base your startup in Silicon Valley or Silicon Beach and plug into one of the world’s strongest ecosystems of venture capitalists, incubators, workspaces, universities, and colleges.
There are more than 35,000 manufacturing firms in the state and they produce an economic output of US$239 billion (S$323 billion). The headquarters of the US$171 million (S$231 million) Manufacturing Innovation Institute for Flexible Hybrid Electronics (FHE) is located in Silicon Valley.
Major electronics and semiconductor companies collaborate with partner universities and research centres to innovate manufacturing processes. Together, they continually break new grounds in integrating electronics with high-precision 3D printing to create low-cost, lightweight, and flexible internet-connected products for the aerospace, defence, healthtech, medtech, and semiconductor industries. California continues to expand its manufacturing prowess into new and emerging technologies with companies spanning industries such as zero-emission vehicles.
Consider partnering one of the US firms in California to create new manufacturing products in US’ key manufacturing states.
Massachusetts had a population of 6.9 million people and Gross State Product of US$584 billion (S$788.4 billion) in 2020.
The key drivers of Massachusetts’ economy include biotech, higher education, and information technology.
In 2020, Bloomberg ranked Massachusetts as the second-most innovative state in the US and top for tech company density for a third consecutive year. US News and World Report ranked Massachusetts’ higher education system – which includes Harvard University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology – as the best in the US in 2018.
While tech companies flock to Silicon Valley, biotech companies make a beeline for Massachusetts, the world’s life sciences capital. According to the Boston Globe and Massachusetts-based pharmaceutical manufacturer PCI Synthesis, Massachusetts is the US’s top biopharma destination for four reasons: its leading health systems, its world-class universities, a robust venture capital funding scene, and state government support.
The 10-year Massachusetts Life Sciences Initiative was launched by the state in 2008 to invest US$1 billion (S$1.4 billion) to enhance its life sciences sectors. The sectors include bioinformatics, biotech, diagnostics, medical devices, and pharmaceuticals.
Since the launch of the initiative, Massachusetts has overtaken all competitor states in its rate of life sciences job creation. The state’s life science cluster has also created jobs at a faster pace than any other industry sector in the state over the past decade.
Today, this thriving life sciences “supercluster” is made up of hospitals, research institutions, universities, and venture capital firms that fund cutting-edge work in the field, private and non-profit organisations, including:
The supercluster looks set to receive further government support with another US$500 million (S$675 million) funding in life sciences over the next five years.
This presents a great window of opportunity for your company to expand or invest in the business of life sciences in Massachusetts. You can also take advantage of the world’s leading innovation pipeline, world-class academic and medical institutions leading the way in life sciences research, and a talented workforce in the state.
Massachusetts also offers business-friendly infrastructure such as an international airport with 40 airlines, regional rail service, mass transit and five deepwater ports.
Arizona had a population of 7.3 million and a Gross State Product of US$320.7 billion (S$427.6 billion) in 2020. The key drivers of Arizona’s economy are advanced manufacturing, technology and innovation, and mobility. The state is outperforming the country when it comes to workforce, employment, manufacturing jobs, population growth and wage growth. It is a Top 10 state for economic momentum, tech jobs added in the past year, and jobs recovered during the pandemic.
Arizona is home to the world’s leading semiconductor companies, supported by a dense ecosystem with a specialised, high tech supply chain. Arizona universities have established a strong reputation for semiconductor design courses and research, providing a highly-skilled workforce for the local semiconductor industry, alongside land availability, cost, seismic stability and abundant sunlight.
For instance, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) is building a US$12 billion (S$16.4 billion) fab in Phoenix that will use the company’s advanced five-nanometer production technology to produce up to 20,000 semiconductors a month. TSMC’s new facility will create 1,600 permanent high-tech jobs, while indirectly supporting thousands of additional jobs.
Arizona is also home to Intel’s largest manufacturing site. In March 2021, the company announced it would invest an additional US$20 billion (S$27.3 billion) into the state with two new semiconductor fabs, adding 3,000 new high-tech jobs and bringing Intel’s total Arizona employees to 16,000.
As one of the youngest and fastest-growing states in the nation, Arizona’s innovative mindset underscores its reputation as a hub for tech-enabled transformations. For example, Microsoft in June 2021 completed its newest, world-class sustainable data centre region called West US 3. Located in the West Valley region of Greater Phoenix, the three campus locations now run the company’s Azure applications, serving growing demand for cloud services across Arizona and the Western US. Arizona’s abundant solar energy, highly skilled workforce, proximity to customers, and availability of land were referenced by the global tech giant as top reasons why the state is a premier location for data centre operations.
The accumulated expertise in industries such as semiconductors and aerospace and defence has spawned newer advanced industries, such as electric vehicle (EV) manufacturing. Already, Arizona is being hailed as “a modern-day salon of EV innovators.”
Phoenix, and the entire state of Arizona, has been working to become a leader in autonomous vehicles since 2015, when the governor signed an executive order to support the testing of driverless cars. Phoenix has partnered with companies such as GM and Lyft to allow hundreds of driverless cars to be tested on their roadways. Recently, the city began working with Waymo to launch a self-driving taxi fleet in nearby Tempe and Chandler.
The state also created the Institute of Automated Mobility with Intel, Arizona State University, and other universities and organisations to research autonomous vehicles. Part of the goal is to create a regulatory framework that other places can model. Other large-scale EV projects include:
Michigan’s population has nearly 10.1 million generating a GDP of US$516 billion (S$693 billion) as of April 2020. The key drivers of Michigan’s economy are advanced manufacturing, medical device technology, mobility & automotive manufacturing, and professional services.
Its accolades include:
Michigan ranks number one in automotive and mobility research and development (R&D) with 73% of the total US spend taking place in the state. 18 of the world’s top OEMS are located in Michigan, as well as 96 of 100 top suppliers. 19% of all US auto production is done in Michigan, giving the state the highest concentration of automotive employment in the country.
Michigan has the most extensive network of autonomous vehicle (AV) and mobility testing infrastructure, as well as the most favourable laws for testing AVs in the country.
Michigan has the highest concentration of commercial and industrial designers in the US at five times the national average. Some of the top 100 US research universities are located in Michigan and receive more than US$2.4 billion (S$3.3 billion) in R&D grants. Michigan also ranks sixth in the US for patent awards.
Michigan ranks in the top 10 for number of medical device technology companies in the US, with the medical device manufacturing sector employing more than 12,000 people. Michigan’s University Research Corridor (URC) is the number one cluster for undergraduate and advanced degrees in medicine and biological science.
New York had a population of about 20 million people in 2017. Its Gross State Product was US$1.7 trillion (S$2.3 trillion) in 2020, making it the third largest economy among the states.
New Yorkers have a GDP per capita of US$75,000 (S$101,250) in 2019. Your business will find a ready market in the large and affluent consumer base, especially if you target the consumer goods and real estate industries.
The state is home to New York City (NYC), US’ principal banking centre and the world’s leading financial centre. NYC houses the world’s top two largest stock exchanges, the New York Stock Exchange and the NASDAQ.
NYC is the largest global centre for trading in public equity and debt capital markets. It also leads in hedge fund management, private equity, and the monetary volume of mergers and acquisitions.
Ride on NYC’s international status and expand your financial services into NYC, your stepping stone to the global market.
Dream of turning your fashion ideas into global trends? Then go to NYC where everything in fashion is happening – and happening first.
Home to world-famous brands such as Coach and DKNY, NYC is where over 75 major fashion trade shows and market weeks take place annually, including the iconic Fashion Week that defines global trends in style.
NYC also has more apparel wholesalers than any other US city, and over 5,000 fashion industry showrooms, more than any other city in the world.
Access the exceptional talent pool found in NYC readily. Leading fashion schools in the city train more than 1,000 students each year.
Need marketing and public relations for your fashion ideas? NYC has you covered, with global marketing agencies and prominent fashion publications and news sources located within the city.
Consider producing your garments in the new garment manufacturing district in NYC. You can take advantage of the US$51.3 million (S$69 million) investment package launched by the city to help grow its garment manufacturing industry.
The creative industries in New York, such as advertising, architecture, design, digital media, film, and television production, offer another area of opportunity that companies can explore for your US venture.
NYC attracts many of the world's largest media conglomerates and top firms in the creative industries to set up bases in the city.
New York offers the US’ most generous tax incentives annually for filmmaking within the state. Companies can also attract visual effects talent more easily with higher tax credit for performing post-film production work within the state.
Texas is the second most populous state in the US, with 29 million people in 2020. Centrally located in the US, it is well-connected to other parts of North America and the world via domestic and international transportation. It also enjoys easy access to markets.
Its key sectors of focus include information technology, energy, biotech & life sciences, aerospace, advanced manufacturing and aviation & defence.
Texas ranked second in terms of Gross State Product, valued at US$1.7 trillion (S$2.3 trillion) in 2020. If it were a nation, it would be the world’s 10th largest economy, ahead of Australia, Mexico, Russia, Spain, South Korea and many others.
Home to some 50 Fortune 500 companies, Texas is ranked by Ernst & Young as the number one state for capital investments. In 2021, the Chief Executive Magazine named Texas the “Best State for Business” for the 17th running year.
Houston, Texas’ state capital, has a workforce of 13 million workers, making it the nation’s second largest civilian labour force. More than half of them hold a university degree.
A steady inflow of working professionals has led to increasing demand for consumer goods and properties. Explore the wealth of opportunities in the consumer and real estate industries presented by a big ready market as well as a skilled, educated workforce.
There’s a saying that all (oil & gas) pipelines lead to Houston, which is also the global capital of the oil & gas industry.
The Houston metropolitan area comprises the largest concentration of petrochemical manufacturing in the world. It is also the world’s leading centre for oilfield equipment construction.
If you run an oil & gas-related business, consider expanding into Houston. Singapore businesses can seek synergy with more than 3,000 energy-related businesses that have called Houston home, including many of the top oil & gas exploration and production firms, and petroleum pipeline operators.
The strong, well established IT sector has given the state a reputation as a tech titan. As a testament to the state’s synergies with leaders in technology and innovation, Texas has ranked amongst the two states for number of technology-related patent assignees for the past 14 years.
Top leading IT companies with a strong presence in Texas include IBM, Cisco, Google, Microsoft, Dell and Apple.
Virginia had a population of 8.5 million people in 2020. Strategically located in the populous eastern coast of the US and next to Washington D.C., its integrated network of air, rail, road, and sea transportation offer logistical advantage to companies in all industries.
Virginia is today home to the largest data centre market in the US, an emerging unmanned systems industry, and the third highest concentration of tech workers in the country.
In 2020, Virginia’s Gross State Product of US$551 billion (S$743 billion) made up 3.5% of the national GDP.
Consider expanding your business in corporate services or IT into Virginia to capitalise on the robust pipeline of professional talent nurtured by its top-ranked higher education system.
For new or existing Singapore businesses in the US, you can also gain competitive edge by relocating your operations in Virginia’s more cost-effective middle market cities and rural locations.
Virginia currently hosts the headquarters of 37 Fortune 1000 companies. It is a top choice for companies seeking to locate a business process outsourcing or shared services operation. It is also at the forefront of high-growth sectors such as cloud computing and cybersecurity.
Washington is the second most populous state on the western coast of the US after California, with a population of 7.61 million people in 2020. Its total Gross State Product was US$619 billion (S$985 billion) in 2020.
Significant businesses within the state include the design and manufacture of aircraft, automotive, computer software development, retail, telecommunication, and tourism. You can consider partnering or investing in US companies in these sectors.
Washington is reputed as one of the best states for business and for making a living in US. The accolades it has won include:
Washington dominates aerospace innovation in the world. The state is anchored by Boeing and hosts a rapidly growing space cluster featuring visionary companies such as Blue Origin and SpaceX.
More than 1,400 aerospace-related companies within the state serve as the supply chain for every major aircraft manufacturer and air carrier in the world. Its 136,000 highly skilled workers produce 1,400 aircraft and unmanned aerial systems annually, manufacturing nearly 90% of all commercial aircraft in the United States.
If you own an aerospace company and want your business to soar to greater heights, put Washington on your business expansion radar so that you can benefit from this dense ecosystem of innovation and invention.
Washington is the birthplace of legendary global tech giants such as Amazon and Microsoft. It is also home to the engineering offices for Apple, Alibaba, eBay, Google, Facebook, Salesforce, and Twitter.
Take your infocomm technology (ICT) business to Washington and you will be in good company of more than 14,000 ICT companies, from small startups to the industry’s biggest names. These companies employ nearly 200,000 people in technology-related jobs in augmented/virtual reality, AI, blockchain, gaming, and mobile & cloud computing.
Capitalise on the strong ecosystem of innovation and invention, from funding to research institutes. Regardless the size of your company, you will find the cost of doing business and attracting top-tier talent lower in Washington than in California. The state also does not have a corporate or personal income tax.
Minnesota had a population of 5.7 million people and a Gross State Product of US$374.5 billion (S$504 billion) in 2020. Its sectors of focus include advanced manufacturing, healthcare and life sciences, and information and communications technology.
Manufacturing is at the heart of Minnesota’s vital economy. This diverse, technology-driven sector contributes over US$52.7 billion (S$72 billion) a year to the state’s economy (2019), accounts for the largest share (14%) of the state’s GDP, employs nearly 324,000 workers, and counts 8,270 manufacturers making a wide range of products. Minnesota has strength in a broad range of industries including food production, computer and electronics, fabricated metal, machinery, and medical devices.
Close to half of Minnesota’s Fortune 500 companies are involved in manufacturing, including 3M, CHS, General Mills, Land O’Lakes, Ecolab, Hormel Foods and Polaris. The state exported US$21 billion (S$28.7 billion) in manufactured products in 2019. More than 300 foreign-owned businesses – or about one-quarter of the more than 1,100 foreign-owned businesses in Minnesota – operate in manufacturing industries. They employ about 46,900 people in the state and have invested about US$8.7 billion (S$11.9 billion) in plant, property and equipment in Minnesota.
Minnesota, a long-time leader in medical devices, is active in all areas of health research and development, including personalised medicine, bioinformatics, proteomics, microbiome, regenerative medicine, pharmacogenomics, stem cell research, telemedicine, 3D printed devices and more.
The internationally-renowned Mayo Clinic in Rochester, consistently ranked the top hospital in the country, and the University of Minnesota provide exceptional patient care and form the state’s life science research backbone. Minnesota is also home to Medical Alley, the world's top health technology innovation cluster. Members of Medical Alley include more than 1,000 health care companies, employing more than 500,000 Minnesotans and millions worldwide. Great possibilities exist for collaboration and partnerships between academia and companies in Minnesota.
Minnesota has a rich history of computer industry development with early industry leaders based there. IT companies operate state-wide across all industries and Minnesota is a growing hub for data centres, fintech and the Internet of Things (IoT). Minnesota is well-known for its highly skilled, highly motivated workforce with its universities producing a steady supply of new talent, awarding thousands of undergraduate advanced degrees in computer and information sciences each year. Its labour force participation rate is the fourth highest (70.1%) in the country.
If you are interested in the US market, take part in the Consumer Electronics Show, the world's leading trade show for consumer technologies.