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International Business in Maryland

​​​​​​​​​Are you a foreign business seeking to establish a U.S. or North American presence​? Maryland is the place to be. Located on the east coast of the United States between New York and Washington, D.C., Maryland has a highly skilled work force, the Port of Baltimore, a strong infrastructure and access to four international airports. The state borders the nation's capital with next ​door access to 176 foreign embassies, and key US. and international decisions makers and partners. You can even get started in the University of Maryland's MI2 incubator designed especially for foreign companies.

Speak another language? Click a link below to learn more about what Maryland has to offer:  Español | Français | 한국어 | العربية | 日本語 | 中文 | עברית

Maryland: America's Global Gateway

Located roughly halfway between Boston and Atlanta, London and Los Angeles, Maryland's Mid-Atlantic location offers proximity and access to key U.S. and international decision makers, partners and agencies in the technology, biosciences, finance and manufacturing industries.

Proximity to Washington, D.C. provides easy access to over 400 agencies - federal, academic and private research sectors and more than 60 federal agencies such as the National Security Agency, the National Institutes of Health and NASA.

Office of International Investment and Trade

Moving your business to a new location, much less a new country with different laws and regulations, can be challenging. Commerce's International team is here to help. The main Baltimore office and 18 offices around the globe assist with bringing foreign direct investment to Maryland.

In addition to offering export assistance for small and mid-sized Maryland companies, the office coordinates international trade and investment missions and trade show opportunities for state companies. Contact our office at 410-767-0685, or your country's international business specialist for more information.

Foreign Direct Investment

More than 900 foreign-based businesses have a presence in Maryland. In 2012, foreign-controlled companies employed 106,100 Maryland workers, or 5.1 percent of the state's total private sector employment. The Netherlands, U.K., France, Canada and Japan are major sources of foreign investment in Maryland.

Some of the largest international companies located in Maryland include Astra Zeneca, BAE Systems, Lonza, Nestle, Shimadzu, Sodexo, QIAGEN and Volvo.


Maryland's coastal Mid-Atlantic location and transportation infrastructure provide an important port of entry into the U.S. market. International companies appreciate the benefits of Maryland's access to federal research facilities, a technologically innovative workforce and more than 175 foreign embassies, residences, chanceries and diplomatic missions in Washington, D.C.

International Incubator

The Maryland International Incubator is a first-of-its-kind facility dedicated to attracting and growing foreign-owned companies to the state. A joint venture between the Maryland Department of Commerce and the University of Maryland College Park, the incubator provides research and development, business development support services and competitively priced space to foreign-owned companies looking to establish a U.S. presence.

Maryland Infrastructure

Centrally located in the nation's busy northeast corridor, Maryland has access to major distribution and travel routes providing service for passengers and commerce.

  • AIR - Four international airports are easily accessible: Baltimore/ Washington International Thurgood Marshall, Washington Dulles International, Ronald Reagan National and Philadelphia International Airport.
  • RAIL - Amtrak offers a 3-hour ride on the Acela Express between New York and Washington, DC.; two Class I freight rail carriers, CSX and Norfolk Southern, and five short lines.
  • ROAD - Easy access to all major East Coast cities via six interstate highways; large commercial vehicle fleet includes 150 trucking companies and 100 terminals; overnight trucking access to one-third of the U.S. population.
  • WATER - Post Panamax-ready Port of Baltimore is one of only two Eastern U.S. ports with a 50-foot shipping channel and a 50-foot container berth, allowing it to accomodate some of the largest container ships in the world.

​Investment Partners

Maryland Energy Administration
Provides Maryland business opportunities to foreign companies specializing in green technologies.

Office of BioHealth and Life Sciences
Offers access to core resources and services for Maryland's biohealth and life sciences community. The Office works with Maryland Commerce's Office of International Trade and Investment to provide information for international bioscience companies considering a U.S. location.

Maryland/Israel Development Center
Helps create jobs in both economies by promoting trade, joint ventures and investment between businesses and research institutions. Staffed by professionals in both Maryland and Israel, the Center identifies market and technology opportunities, and connects Maryland and Israeli executives, entrepreneurs and investors.

Select USA
Manages foreign direct investment promotion. The U.S. government organization focuses on outreach to foreign governments and investors, support for state governments' investment promotion efforts and serves as ombudsman in Washington for the international investment community. 

University System of Maryland (USM)
Assists in developing international academic and research partnerships as well as access to higher education opportunities. USM comprises 11 universities, two research institutions, two regional higher education centers and a system office.

Maryland Port Administration
Provides detailed information regarding importing/exporting, international shipping and transportation.

World Trade Center Institute (WTCI)
Maryland's global business partner WTCI provides connections, international programs/events, and extensive international business services.

Baltimore/Washington International Airport
This 36-airline airport serves an average of 62,000 passengers a day and approximately 21 million passengers per year. Four airlines provide international service with nonstop flights to eight countries including London and Frankfurt.

Maryland Office of the Secretary of State - Sister States Program
Offers citizens and businesses a unique opportunity to build relationships in other parts of the world. The program also provides a forum for economic development, international trade and increased global understanding. ​​​