Baltimore — The Maryland Department of Commerce’s Signe Pringle, assistant secretary of business and industry sector development, has been appointed to the U.S. Investment Advisory Council. The council, consisting of 25 international business and economic development leaders from throughout the country, will advise federal Department of Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross on government policies and programs and their role in maintaining and increasing foreign direct investment (FDI) in the U.S.

Formed in 2016, the Investment Advisory Council’s recommendations have focused on improving workforce development, prioritizing infrastructure investments, and creating digital devices geared towards supporting economic development.

“With more than 17 years of international business development experience in both the public and private sectors, Signe has helped grow our state’s presence in the international market and worked tirelessly to help bring dozens of global companies to Maryland,” said Maryland Commerce Secretary Kelly M. Schulz.

“We’re proud to see Signe represent not only the state of Maryland, but the entire nation, on the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Investment Advisory Council.”

Before overseeing Commerce’s business development office, Signe previously served as managing director of the Office of International Investment and Trade, which is responsible for the state’s global operations including export promotion and foreign direct investment attraction.

She also served as the department’s regional manager for Europe, and worked as a global supply chain manager at a distribution company in Estonia prior to joining the state agency.

Signe currently serves as president of State International Development Organizations (SIDO), the leading U.S. organization dedicated to supporting state international trade and investment agencies.

“I am honored to be selected as one of the 25 appointees to the advisory council,” Pringle said. “With help from these economic development experts, I look forward to finding additional ways to keep Maryland and the United States competitive and open for business.”

According to SelectUSA, a program within the U.S. Department of Commerce’s International Trade Administration, FDI in the U.S. totaled more than $4 trillion in 2016 – more than any other country – supporting nearly 14 million jobs and generating $370 billion in exports.

Here in Maryland, international companies employ more than 118,000 workers, with approximately 27 percent falling under the manufacturing sector. The United Kingdom, the Netherlands, and Canada support the most foreign direct investment in the state, and some of the largest international companies in Maryland include AstraZeneca, Volvo, Sodexo, and BAE Systems.