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Walker administration upbeat on Foxconn fiscal impact despite analysis

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Manufacturing giant could spark investment, entrepreneurship 

In 25 years, electronic gadgets might not even have screens.

But it will take that long for Wisconsin to recover the $3 billion incentive package for Taiwanese electronics giant Foxconn to build an LCD screen factory in the state.

That, according to a new report from the state’s Legislative Fiscal Bureau.

Any analysis like that, however, could be missing growth opportunity for smaller, supplier businesses, according to Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s Sec. of Administration, Scott Neitzel.

“The other thing that we’re already seeing is an uptick in interest in venture capital in Wisconsin. We’ve heard that,” Neitzel said. “Now that Foxconn has said, ‘Wisconsin is the place to be,’ people want to be here.”

The bureau says the estimated payback gets longer if the company creates less than the promised 13,000 jobs or invests less than $10 billion in infrastructure.

Neitzel has suggested the impact could be hard to measure.

“I think it’s hard to really completely quantify all the benefits that this new, high-tech manufacturing ecosystem will create in the state,” he said. “I think we’re also going to see a lot of entrepreneurial activity around this investment as those suppliers kind of organically grow in Wisconsin to help the other suppliers.”

 

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