RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK – North Carolina’s 2020 economic development pipeline is “strong,” says North Carolina’s Economic Development Partnership Chris Chung, and another big job announcement could be just around the corner.

“I wouldn’t want to preempt anybody,” he said, declining to give specifics, “but we feel very confident that there are going to be some companies that make their choices known here in the future.

“Those numbers tend to be announced by some other folks, but you should see that here in the next couple of weeks,” he added.

Chung made these comments moments before taking to the stage as a panelist at the 18th Annual Economic Forecast Forum hosted by the NC Chamber and the North Carolina Bankers Association on Tuesday.

Chris Chung, Dan Deegan, Ward Nye, Kari Stoltz.

Before a 1,500-strong crowd gathered at the Sheraton Imperial Hotel and Convention Center, he sat alongside banking execs to discuss North Carolina’s economic development prospects in the coming year.

“A lot of people seem to be saying South Carolina seems to be winning a lot. I don’t think so. That’s not what we see,” Chung clarified during the discussion. “We’ve actually been beating South Carolina in a lot of the manufacturing deals, and that’s a bit of a one-trick-pony state. They can’t touch us in technology, and life sciences and biotech and financial services. So let’s kill this notion that we are surrounded by states that’s going to eat our lunch every day.”

However, he did offer a dose of caution going into the 2020 election season.

“It’s always a given that every four years during presidential election cycles, you do start to see a little bit of hesitancy among companies to pull the trigger on those corporate relocation expansion decisions until they have a better sense of what the federal policy is going to look like. I wouldn’t be surprised if we see the same thing later in 2020.”

Overall, he remained optimistic.

“We’ve got a good policy environment in place, a great business climate; we’re making investments in workforce. We’re attracting people to move here. I’m excited that 2020 will be even better than the past three years.”