What are the forces moving the Minnesota economy? Adam Belz tries to identify the trends and show the connections between Minnesota and the larger U.S. and global economies. You can connect with him on Twitter: @adambelz
Laurence Reszetar -- a lawyer who lives in St. Paul -- has been named director of foreign direct investment for the Minnesota Trade Office.
The position is new. Reszetar will oversee the state's efforts to attract investment from foreign companies that creates jobs in Minnesota. He’ll manage a trade office in Shanghai and eventually trade offices in South Korea, Germany and Brazil.
Reszetar, 37, has been an attorney for Maslon Edelman Borman & Brand since 2006. He has worked for Fontheim International, a consulting and law firm in Washington, D.C., and been a research associate for the Council on Foreign Relations in New York City.
Minnesota Trade Office Director Kathleen Motzenbecker, who will be Reszetar's boss, is also a Council on Foreign Relations alum.
Reszetar has a bachelor’s degree in government and international relations from Georgetown, and a law degree from the U of M.
“I am honored to have the opportunity to work for the state of Minnesota on such a strategic and important initiative,” Reszetar said in a statement. “Dedicating a new position to foreign direct investment is a good decision that will bring more jobs to the state and strengthen the economy.”
Foreign companies with operations in Minnesota are responsible for 92,000 jobs – about 4 percent of the total private sector workforce in the state, according to the Organization for International Investment. About 30 percent of those jobs are in manufacturing.
Foreign companies with major operations in Minnesota include the German firms Geringhoff, Allianz and Aldi. India’s Tata Consultancy Services, Brazil’s Gerdau,
the UK’s GlaxoSmithKline and Canadian bus-maker New Flyer also have big operations here.
The foreign trade offices Reszetar will oversee are to direct 40 percent of their efforts toward promoting Minnesota exports and 60 percent toward attracting foreign direct investment.
Reszetar’s position was created as a result of Gov. Mark Dayton’s Global Competitiveness Initiative, which was approved by the Minnesota Legislature last year to increase state exports and attract more foreign direct investment – money spent by foreign companies on operations in Minnesota.
The FY 2013 budget of the Minnesota Trade Office was $1.9 million, and from what I can tell it has about 15 employees, including one each in Dusseldorf and Shanghai. The Trade Office falls within the hierarchy of the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development.
And, oh yeah, Reszetar is on Twitter: @ComoParker