The United States is a world leader in innovation and a top destination for business, but in order to stay competitive in the global economy, businesses must invest in the U.S. market.

That was a main topic of discussion at the SelectUSA Investment Summit, an initiative established by the Obama administration as a government-wide effort to encourage, facilitate and accelerate business investment in the U.S. 

Business and government leaders recently gathered in Washington, D.C., to discuss the summit’s theme, “The innovation advantage,” and their insights on recent innovations and trends.

In a panel discussion moderated by Jason Miller, deputy director of the National Economic Council, HVAC market company Danfoss North America’s President John Galyen explained that people all over the world want to buy products made in the U.S.

“For Danfoss, which is present in more than 100 countries worldwide, the United States is our largest market,” said Galyen, noting a skilled labor force, stable currency and good infrastructure as benefits of doing business in the states. “Being close to our customers is essential to our business. We need to have local production and local support, making further investment in this market a priority. Today, we have 17 sites in the U.S.”

Michael Araten, president of K’Nex Brands; Stephen Chabot, vice president of operations and quality at Inficon Inc.; and Pedro Ferro, CEO of Fras-le, also joined Galyen in the panel discussion.

“The United States generally sets the bar on product standards,” said Galyen, explaining trends in energy efficiency and climate change are influencing the company’s investment in innovation and R&D. “For example, air-conditioning chiller standards are set here. We’re continuing to make investments to expand our U.S. footprint, including a new application development center being built in Tallahassee, Florida, that will help our customers accelerate high-efficiency innovative technologies to the market.”