How Foreign Businesses Can Attract Investors in Washington State

January 30, 2024 | by Wong Fleming

What are the key interests of Washington State investors, and how can businesses worldwide capture their attention and secure funding?

Partner Ramina Dehkhoda-Steele delves deeper into this topic and more in her article featured in IR Global’s publication, “All Change, a Shifting Geopolitical & Economic Climate”.

Click on the image below to view as PDF or continue reading below.

Ramina Dehkhoda-Steele, Partner

Ramina Dehkhoda-Steele is the Partner-in-Charge of Wong Fleming’s office in Redmond, Washington. Ms. Dehkhoda-Steele, within Wong Fleming, is Co-Chair of the Commercial Litigation practice group. Ms. Dehkhoda-Steele has an 18-year history of representing Fortune 500 companies in both transactional matters and general liability, premises liability, and insurance defense. An avid litigator, she has extensive experience in various areas of the law. This experience extends to complex technology transactions and real estate transactions. Ms. Dehkhoda-Steele is active in seeking a resolution not only through the court system, but through active arbitration and mediation practice. Her expertise and judgment are sought-after as an Arbitrator affiliated with the American Arbitration Association (“AAA”).

About Wong Fleming

Wong Fleming, first established in New Jersey in 1994, has grown to become a national law firm with offices and affiliates across the United States, Canada, Mexico, and Germany. The firm is committed to ongoing professional education and lifelong learning as well as to the promotion of diversity in the legal profession. Wong Fleming is certified as a minority business enterprise by the National Minority Supplier Development Council (“NMSDC”) and as a female-owned business by the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council.


What is the current appetite for investment in foreign companies in your jurisdiction?

Washington State, known for its innovation, is home to some of the largest tech corporations in the world, making it a prime location for foreign investment. According to a recent report by the Washington State Department of Commerce, foreign direct investment (FDI) in Washington State increased by 15% in 2021. The report identified the top three countries making business investments in Washington State as Canada, China, and the United Kingdom. The top industries attracting foreign investment into Washington State include:

  • Technology: Washington State is home to a number
    of technology companies, such as Amazon, Microsoft, and Google. These companies are attractive to investors because they are at the forefront of innovation.
  • Life sciences: Washington State is also a leader in the life sciences industry. This industry is attractive to investors because it is a rapidly growing field with a high potential for innovation.
  • Clean energy: Washington State is committed to clean energy and is investing heavily in this sector. This makes it an attractive destination for investors who are looking to invest in sustainable businesses.

This diversity within the area leads to innovation, and with innovation comes foresight. As proven leaders in the world of technology, investors from Washington State have not geographically limited themselves to any one particular region. However, it would be a fair assessment to say that certain regions are favoured for investment, the largest being Asia. Washington State has a long history of trade and investment with Asia, and this continues to be a major focus for investors. Countries like China, Japan, and South Korea are all popular destinations for Washington State investment. Other regions include:

  • Europe: Europe is another major region drawing in Washington State investors. Countries like Germany, the United Kingdom, and France are all attractive destinations for investment.
  • Latin America: Latin America is a growing market with much potential, and Washington State investors are starting to take notice. Countries like Brazil, Mexico, and Chile are all seeing increased investment from Washington State.
  • Canada: Canada is Washington State’s neighbour to the north, and there is a lot of cross-border investment between the two. Washington State investors are particularly interested in investing in Canadian technology companies.


How are global geopolitical and economic fluctuation affecting commercial opportunities and engagements in your jurisdiction?

Washington State investors are interested in investing in countries that are seen as offering dynamic opportunities and innovative solutions. This includes countries like Israel and Ireland, both of which are known for their advanced technology and cutting-edge innovation. Washington State investors tend to focus on other regions that offer potential investment opportunities, such as
the European Union, Asia Pacific, and Latin America. These regions offer investors numerous opportunities for growth and development, including access to new markets, resources, and customers. In addition, Washington State investors look for countries with strong economies and a stable political environment, as these factors are integral to successful investments.

Ultimately, the specific countries where Washington State investors like to invest will vary depending on the individual investor’s interests and goals. However, the regions and countries listed above are all popular destinations for Washington State investment. The current appetite of Washington State investors for investment in foreign companies is strong. This is due to a number of factors, including:

  • The growing global economy, which is creating new opportunities for businesses to expand into new markets
  • The increasing sophistication of foreign companies, which are becoming more attractive investment targets
  • The availability of favourable investment terms, such as tax breaks and other incentives

Overall, the drive for investment in foreign companies by Washington State investors is strong. There are a number of factors that are driving this appetite in addition to those previously mentioned, and the trend is expected to continue in the years to come.


What can businesses do to attract interest and ultimately secure funding from investors in your jurisdiction?

Here are some things that businesses can do to attract interest and secure funding from investors living in Washington State:

  • To build a strong business plan, start by clearly outlining your company’s goals, strategy, and financial projections. This will provide investors with a comprehensive understanding of your business and why it is a viable investment opportunity. Additionally, this plan should include information about your market analysis, competitive advantage, and detailed financial projections. By providing a comprehensive and well-thought-out plan, you will be able to demonstrate to investors that you are serious about your business and have considered all the necessary aspects.
  • Do your research: Before you start pitching to investors, it is important to do your research and understand the types of investors who are likely to be interested in your business. This includes understanding their investment goals, risk tolerance, and criteria.
  • Networking with investors can be beneficial for your business. Attend industry events and conferences, reach out to potential investors one-on-one, join local business communities,
    and utilise social media to connect with potential investors. Introduce yourself and discuss your business to create connections that could lead to investments.
  • Present your business to investors: Once you have identified potential investors, you will need to present your business to them clearly, concisely, and persuasively. This means being able to clearly articulate your business’s value proposition, its competitive advantage, and its growth potential.
  • Investors will likely have a lot of questions about your business, so be prepared to answer them concisely. This includes being able to explain your business model, including how you plan to make money, your financial projections, such as expected revenues, profits and expenses, and your exit strategy, which should include how you plan to realise a return on your investment. Being prepared to answer such questions will help to ensure that potential investors have a good understanding of your business and its potential for success. With this knowledge, they can make an informed decision on whether or not to invest in your business.


Building a strong commercial proposal for investors

  1. Establish strong relationships: Establishing strong connections with local businesses, government officials, and industry leaders can benefit your business in Washington State. Networking and building trust can open doors to new opportunities and foster collaborations.
  2. Embrace sustainability and innovation: Washington State is renowned for its green initiatives and cutting-edge technology. Incorporating sustainable practices and highlighting innovative solutions in your business proposal can be an attractive feature for investors.
  3. Demonstrate market potential: Investors are interested in businesses that can demonstrate solid market potential. Conduct thorough market research, identify target customers, and present a compelling case for how your product or service meets their specific needs.
  4. Highlight competitive advantage: Clearly articulate your unique selling points and competitive advantage in the market. Whether it is patented technology, a highly skilled workforce, or a strategic location, emphasise what sets your business apart from competitors.