On the heels of a record-setting 2022, economic development throughout South Carolina showed few signs of slowing down in 2023. Recently S.C. Commerce announced its 2023 recruitment results, highlighted by a total capital investment of $9.22 billion — the second-highest amount in state history.
Of note, 2023 saw the most individual projects with a capital investment of $1 billion or more. Scout Motors’ $2 billion investment, Albemarle Corporation’s $1.3 billion investment and QTS Data Centers’ $1 billion investment show the continued interest across some of South Carolina’s key industries. Automotive, electric vehicles (EV) and EV batteries, and alternative energy and fuels were the state’s leading industries by capital investment, respectively.
“After a record-breaking 2022, South Carolina has remained committed to ensuring its long-term economic competitiveness and growing reputation as an established destination for transformational industry,” said Secretary of Commerce Harry M. Lightsey III. “Back-to-back years of strong industry recruitment reinforces South Carolina’s commitment to the success of our existing and new businesses, alike. I’m extremely proud of the economic development professionals representing our state who continue to work relentlessly to position us for ongoing success. The announcement of over 14,000 jobs and billions of dollars to be invested into local communities will help increase the economic choices and opportunities for every South Carolinian. Our people remain a key component of our business success, and S.C. Commerce is eager to help create exciting career pathways for current and future residents.”
Investments from both newly announced companies and expansions of existing operations benefit communities of all sizes. Capital investments in rural communities, described as counties categorized as Tier III and IV according to the South Carolina Department of Revenue’s annual county development rankings, accounted for nearly 34% of all statewide investment.
Foreign direct investment (FDI) also continued to play an important role in South Carolina’s economy, accounting for more than 32% of all capital investment in 2023. Familiar global partners made up the state’s top FDI sources, led by Japan, Germany and Canada, respectively.