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The Upstate SC Alliance specializes in providing support and resources to guide international companies seeking to establish and expand operations within the United States of America. A number of resources are available to assist employees and families from other countries who choose to call the Upstate home.

Our services:

  • Market Entry – Whether you are seeking market entry through FDI, business partnering, or a landing pad, we can help.
  • Team of Advisors – From incorporation to environmental regulations to incentives negotiation, the Upstate SC Alliance can assist you in assembling a team of professional advisors to help you launch successfully in the U.S. market. The region has a long history of working with foreign companies to position them for both initial and long-term success.
  • Visas – Information on visa requirements for travel in the United States is available through the U.S. Department of State. Learn more about travel and business visas and student or immigration requirements online, or let us connect you to local providers who are experienced in this field.
  • Site selection – Our business recruitment team can conduct a search of available properties based on your specific criteria.
  • Connections – To federal, state, local and private sector agencies and stakeholders

Interested in how the Upstate supports growing companies?

State & Regional Resources 

The Upstate SC Alliance works closely with the South Carolina Department of Commerce, which has established international offices in Germany, Japan, South Korea, India, and China, in addition to an export support division. Please let us know if we can connect you with one of these international offices.

The South Carolina Ports Authority administers Foreign-Trade Zone (FTZ) 38 in the Upstate, provides a secure and profitable platform to compete effectively in domestic and global markets. The FTZ program is available to all U.S. based importers/exporters and can be established at warehouses/distribution centers and manufacturing facilities. Read more about the benefits of FTZs. 

Upstate International

Our region is home to Upstate International, a non-profit organization whose mission is to empower people and businesses of all nations to thrive in the Upstate by connecting them with programs, events and initiatives that foster the dynamic exchange of international cultures and ideas. Upstate International offers services to help orient and guide families relocating to the Upstate. They also offer language classes, currently in thirteen languages. And, Upstate International is helping create connections though a variety of international clubs.

Upstate International also promotes events that increase awareness, broaden horizons, and inspire appreciation for the many different expressions of cultures in our world. Their initiatives include a World Affairs Council, as well as a variety of culturally themed events introducing residents to the sights, tastes, sounds, and traditions of other countries.

Sister Cities & International Academic Ties

The Upstate has a strong participation in Sister Cities International programs through Greenville Sister Cities International, which maintains relationships with Bergamo, Italy; Kortrijk, Belgium; Vadodara, India; and Tianjin, FTZ, PRC.

Additionally, our academic institutions such as Clemson University, one of the country’s leading science- and engineering-oriented public research universities, maintain connections to industry leaders throughout the world.

The Upstate is also home to several schools with international ties, such as:

  • German School Upstate SC, to provide cultural and language training for German students and for American students preparing for the Advanced Placement German test.
  • The International Spanish Academy at Blythe Academy, which offers an integrated curriculum of Spanish language and content, with a continuum of learning for dual immersion students. The program was was selected by the Ministry of Education of Spain to form a partnership as an International Spanish Academy.
  • Eastlink Academy, a Chinese immersion charter school that provides a link between eastern and western cultures, serving kindergarten through 8th grades.
  • Supplementary schools are available for ChineseKorean, and Japanese residents of the Upstate to learn both their native cultures and language education.

International Associations