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South Dakota International Business Institute (SDIBI)
SDIBI was established in 1994 as a state government entity to assist the Governor's Office of Economic Development (GOED) in facilitating and enhancing international trade. SDIBI accomplishes this mission by offering international business services including export promotion and foreign direct investment services.
Foreign Direct Investment (USCIS Regional Center under EB-5)
SDIBI developed and implemented a foreign direct investment initiative for the State of South Dakota which attracted many new projects in several industry sectors. SDIBI's Regional Center designation from USCIS in 2004, which provides immigrant visas to qualified foreign investors, greatly accelerated the pace of foreign investment dollars benefiting the economy of South Dakota. SDIBI recently requested an amendment from the USCIS to expand the regional center to include nearly all of South Dakota and expand the number of eligible industries.
Export Promotion Services
In addition, SDIBI offers consultations to companies interested in learning more about international trade or companies who need assistance with specific international business challenges. SDIBI also conducts exciting and timely educational programs to help businesses acquire the skills, knowledge, and attitudes necessary to successfully compete in the international marketplace. Furthermore, SDIBI provides trade leads to South Dakota companies, offers international credit reports and maintains an exporters directory which, also in electronic format and on-line, promotes South Dakota made products worldwide. Finally, SDIBI provides South Dakota exporters access to trade finance assistance in collaboration with the Trade Acceptance Group, Ltd., and the Export-Import Bank of the United States.
SDRC Inc., established in late 2007, is the overarching management company that operates as the main resource for the South Dakota Investment Fund Limited Partnerships (EB-5 entities) to monitor and affect the performance of the loan/fund extended to the subject project companies that will create ever-important employment to be credited to the Limited Partnerships for the EB-5 investor purposes as well as to secure the repayment of the loan/fund by the project entities.
SDRC Inc's two important functions is to take on the tasks which are cumbersome for a public entity such as SDIBI to be engaged in but are important for the State of South Dakota to optimize the benefits of its regional center.
The first such function is related to quality control in terms of credit analysis and loan monitoring. The second function of SDRC Inc. is to manage the relationships with overseas agencies to assure that EB-5 investors are recruited efficiently and ethically. This will be accomplished through frequent communications and contractual agreements with these agencies.
Early regional center projects required substantial conventional financing and involvement of commercial banks which would conduct thorough credit analysis before loans were provided. The bank's involvement provided SDIBI the assurance that the selected project was economically sound as loan committees would not provide funding unless the bank' in house industry specialists blessed the project. With the USCIS amendment in late 2006, new projects in the meat packing industry became a reality. These projects traditionally create more direct jobs in comparison to the earlier regional center projects and therefore provide an opportunity to replace commercial funds with lower cost investor funds. The lower cost of monies added to the profitability of the project but eliminated the quality control role function the commercial bank played in the earlier regional center projects. SDRC Inc. was created to fill this new void.
SDRC Inc. will work closely with SDIBI in selecting regional center projects that benefit the State of South Dakota and the EB-5 investors. This will be accomplished through contractual agreements with local financial institutions and industry specialists who will conduct credit analysis to be incorporated in SDIBI's project selection process.
SDRC Inc., for SDIBI, will enter into an agreement with a local commercial institution to handle all the loan closing and monitoring functions related to each project. Additionally, SDRC Inc. will engage public accountants and other professionals to protect the integrity of all projects. Finally, SDRC Inc. will communicate with the EB-5 investors to assure that they obtain timely performance, tax and other data related to the investments.
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