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President Obama meets with business executives on May 20. / Brendan Smialowski, AFP/Getty Images

WASHINGTON -- President Obama asked the leaders of global businesses Tuesday to tell him what more the government can do to attract investment into the United States.

"We want folks to know this is a great place to do business," Obama said at a meeting of executives from 11 U.S. and foreign-based firms.

The administration is pushing a program it calls SelectUSA, saying it has helped nearly 500 businesses and led to some $18 billion in new business investments in 17 states and territories.

Obama said his team will hold a SelectUSA summit next March.

International companies represented at the White House meeting included the Ford Motor Company, Germany's Lufthansa airline, South Korea's Hankook Tire, Sweden's Ericsson communications technology firm and Switzerland's Zurich Insurance Group.

Obama told the executives he wanted them to talk about what the government has done right and wrong when it comes to attracting businesses.

The administration wants its agencies to work together and "be more systematic" about attracting investments, he said.

"We want to make sure that the federal government is working in sync with state and local governments when it comes to locating businesses here in the United States," he said.



Copyright 2014 USATODAY.com

Read the original story: Obama asks businesses to help attract investment to U.S.

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