State Not Resting On Its #1 Ranking In Foreign Direct Investment For 2022

State Not Resting On Its #1 Ranking In Foreign Direct Investment For 2022

By Terri Jo Neff |

In a move intended to further increase the state’s global competitiveness, two new Arizona Trade Offices are being opened, both in Asian countries.

The Arizona Commerce Authority currently has trade and investment offices in Tel Aviv, Israel and  Frankfurt, Germany, as well as three in Mexico (Chihuahua, Guanajuato, and Mexico City). The new offices will be located in Taipei, Taiwan and Seoul, South Korea, and will serve as a platform to further accelerate economic collaboration.

The recent announcement of the new endeavors was made in conjunction with Gov. Katie Hobbs’ International State of the State address, which highlighted the fact Arizona ranked first in the nation in 2022 in the amount of foreign direct investment (FDI).

According to FDI Markets, Arizona attracted expansion projects in 2022 from 35 international companies last year, representing $31.954 billion in investment. It was the second time in three years that Arizona led the nation for FDI, demonstrating the state’s leading attractiveness for investment from global technology companies.

According to the Arizona Commerce Authority, the state’s FDI total for 2022 was led a $28 billion project announced by Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company, which brought the total of the company’s years-long commitment to construct and operate two facilities in north Phoenix to $40 billion.

Other significant FDI in Arizona last year included Canada-based XNRGY Climate Systems, Taiwan-based Chang Chun Group and Sunlit Chemical, and Switzerland-based Nestle.

Hobbs’ announcement was timed to feature the decision by South Korea-based LG Energy Solution of a four-fold increase to their planned Arizona investment. The company initially planned to invest $1.4 billion—which was included in the 2022 FDI report—before announcing in March its plan to up that to $5.5 billion.

LG Energy is a leading global battery manufacturer and renewable energy company. Its investment decision will support construction of two battery manufacturing facilities in Queen Creek, which industry observers say is the largest single project to date for a stand-alone battery manufacturing facility in North America.

Construction is set to begin this year, with production for cylindrical batteries for EVs (27GWh) and LFP pouch-type batteries for ESS (16GWh) beginning in 2025.

The Arizona Commerce Authority is the state’s leading economic development organization with a streamlined mission to grow and strengthen Arizona’s economy. Its International Trade Program offers Arizona-based companies export services to amplify their trade opportunities in international markets. Services include assistance and trade counseling, getting started, contact facilitation, company background, export leads, educational programs, and more.

The program further provides global exposure to Arizona’s small- and medium-sized companies through coordinated trade missions in various foreign countries.  Such relationships lend long-term growth opportunities in global markets and prove critical for companies looking to import or export goods. 

International projects in the Arizona Commerce Authority’s project pipeline have seen a 52 percent increase over the last quarter, reflecting a strategic effort to target the expansion of manufacturing and technology sectors. Such sectors traditionally offer higher than average wages for Arizonans.

Terri Jo Neff is a reporter for AZ Free News. Follow her latest on Twitter, or send her news tips here.

Arizona Second in Nation For Most Officers Shot This Year; Shootings, Deaths Tripled

Arizona Second in Nation For Most Officers Shot This Year; Shootings, Deaths Tripled

By Corinne Murdock |

Arizona ranked second in the nation for most officers shot in 2022, falling just behind Texas and ahead of Georgia. There were over triple the number of officer shootings and deaths compared to last year.

According to the National Fraternal Order of Police’s (FOP) annual report, 21 Arizona officers were shot in the line of duty. Three were killed by gunfire: 

Officer Adrian Lopez, Sr., White Mountain Apache Tribal Police Department (EOW: June 2) 

Sergeant Richard Lopez, Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office (EOW: June 28)

Constable Deborah Martinez-Garibay, Pima County Constable’s Office (EOW: Aug. 25)

A Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agent with a residence in Florida as well as Cochise County, Michel O. Maceda, was killed by gunfire last month during a drug bust off the coast of Puerto Rico. Maceda’s end of watch was on Nov. 17. 

Last year, Arizona had six officers shot in the line of duty, and one was killed. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Special Agent Michael Garbo was killed by gunfire last October.

While Arizona’s shooting incidents and deaths more than tripled compared to last year, the national totals declined. Nationwide, 2022 marked a slight decline from 2021: this past year 323 officers were shot, and 60 died by gunfire. In 2021, 346 officers were shot, and 63 died by gunfire. In 2020, 312 were shot, 47 died by gunfire. In 2019, 319 officers were shot, and 50 died by gunfire. 

There have been a total of 87 ambush-style attacks on officers this year, resulting in 124 officers shot and 31 killed.

This increase in officer shootings and deaths conflicts with the decline in the state’s crime levels. According to Arizona Department of Public Safety (AZDPS) data, violent crimes have so far declined by 35.3 percent since last year: homicides are down 36 percent (72.8 percent with firearms), aggravated assaults are down 32.2 percent (30.3 percent with firearms), robberies are down by 44.7 percent (35.3 percent with firearms), and sexual assaults are down by 37.4 percent (less than 1 percent with a firearm).

This data may change by next month after participating agencies submit their crime reports for December.

The decline follows a three-year steady increase in crime rates. Last year, violent crimes increased by 3.6 percent from 2020. Homicides were up by 16.5 percent, (69 percent committed with a firearm); aggravated assaults were up by 2.7 percent (29 percent with firearms), robberies were up by 2 percent (28.8 percent with firearms), and sexual assaults were up by 11 percent (less than 1 percent with a firearm).

AZDPS’ past annual crime reports from 2006-2020 are available here.

Corinne Murdock is a reporter for AZ Free News. Follow her latest on Twitter, or email tips to

Maricopa County Opens First 10 Vote Centers of Over 200 This Week

Maricopa County Opens First 10 Vote Centers of Over 200 This Week

By Corinne Murdock |

On Wednesday, Maricopa County will open the first 10 of 211 vote centers for the upcoming primary election; in all, double the number operating during the 2020 election. Five of those locations will only serve as vote centers on certain days — otherwise, they’ll only house drop boxes. 

Vote centers allow voters to cast ballots at any location rather than an assigned precinct, leading them to be referred to as “vote anywhere” locations. 

The majority of vote centers were concentrated at places of worship: churches and a few mosques accounted for about 44 percent of all vote centers. About 16 percent were located at K-12 schools or district offices. About 15 percent were located at recreational or community centers. 

Another 15 percent were scattered almost evenly across 17 different types of buildings. Of note, there was a vote center at a mortuary, a union, a country club, an airport, and a commercial real estate agency.

As reported by AZ Free News, Maricopa County Recorder Stephen Richer stated about one month ago that there would be 212 vote centers. 

The county will open 44 more vote centers on July 22, then 65 more on August 1. On election day, August 2, 92 vote centers will open.

Corinne Murdock is a reporter for AZ Free News. Follow her latest on Twitter, or email tips to