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An Overview of Maryland

Updated:Mar 01,2021 11:26 AM AHFAO

I. Overview

(1) Population and Geography

The population of Maryland is 6.0457 million, accounting for 1.84% of the total number of people in the United States. Among them, the white people account for 58.8%, African Americans account for 30.9%, and Asian Americans account for 6.7%. The state has 23 counties and the independent city of Baltimore, and the capital is the seaport city of Annapolis.

Maryland is located on the east coast of the United States and belongs to the South Atlantic region. It is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the east and Delaware, Pennsylvania to the north, and Virginia and Washington, D.C., to the south. With an area of approximately 26,000 square kilometers, it ranks 42nd among all states in the United States.


Maryland has a lot of climate changes. The climate in the east is different from that in the west, and the climate in the south is also different from that in the north. The eastern coastal plain has hot summers and winters. The average temperature in January is 2℃ and the average temperature in July is 23℃; the average annual precipitation is 1,070 mm and there is not much snow in winter. In the western mountains, the temperature is often below zero in winter and the amount of snow is heavy; summer is cool, with the average temperature in July being around 20°C.

(2) History

The name of Maryland comes from Queen Mary of Charles I. Annapolis was the temporary capital of the United States from November 1783 to June 1784. On December 23, 1783, George Washington resigned as commander-in-chief of the Continental Army in Annapolis. On January 14, 1784, the United States Congress signed the Paris Agreement in Annapolis, ending the War of Independence. On September 11, 1786, the Annapolis Conference was held to discuss the United States Constitution and decided to convene a Constitutional Convention. In 1812, the British army attacked Baltimore, Maryland's largest city, after burning Washington in 1812, and Francis Scott Kaye, who witnessed the British naval bombardment of Fort McHenry, wrote the American national anthem "Shining Stars and Stripes."

(3) Transportation

Maryland is located in the middle of the Boston-Atlanta corridor. It is the most important transportation hub in the United States. I-95, Road 195, Road 295, Road 395, and Road 495 are important interstate highways. The Port of Baltimore is one of the busiest international deep-water ports in the United States, connecting the East Coast of the United States with the rest of the world. The main airport is Baltimore-Washington Thurgood Marshall International Airport (BWI).

II. Politics

The chief administrative officer of the state government is the governor, with the governor’s office and branches under the governor’s office. The administrative divisions of the state government are mainly based on counties. The current governor is Republican Hogan (Larry Hogan). The state legislature is divided into two houses. Maryland is divided into several electoral districts, each with one senator and two deputies. The senator’s term of office is 4 years, and the term of office of the deputies is 2 years.

III. Economy

(1) Main economic indicators

In 2019, Maryland's real GDP was 428.33 billion U.S. dollars, an increase of 3.8% year-on-year; per capita income was 65,683 U.S. dollars, ranking 15th and 7th among all states in the United States.

Maryland is located in an economically developed area of the United States. The Baltimore-Washington metropolitan area is the fourth largest retail consumer market in the United States, and ranked fourth in the United States in the "Fortune" magazine ranking of the most suitable areas for business development. Maryland is the home of high-tech in the United States, and its scientific research funding from the federal government ranks second among all states in the United States. There are 3 million high-tech talents in the state, the density of professional high-tech personnel ranks second in the United States, and the density of scientists and engineers ranks first in the United States. In addition, 237 most important scientific research institutions and laboratories in the United States have been established on both sides of the Baltimore-Washington highway. Nearly 120,000 scientists and engineers live and work in the Baltimore-Washington metropolitan area. These professionals are the most active and creative part of Maryland's economic growth factors.

Maryland is a pioneer in the development of industrial development zones, international trade parks and high-tech parks in the United States. It is the third state in the United States to implement industrial development zones, and it is also among the first batch of states to designate industrial zones. Maryland’s industrial areas are located along the western, central, and eastern coasts of Maryland.

(2) Main Industries

The mainstay of Maryland’s economy is the tertiary industry, especially the transportation industry centered on Baltimore. The second largest industry is related departments of the federal government, such as defense, aerospace industry, and federal government departments in Maryland. Other economic sectors include information industry, telecommunications, and manufacturing, including food, textiles, chemistry, printing, steel, metal processing, and automobiles. In recent years, emerging industries such as biological sciences and environmental protection have played an increasingly important role in the state economy.

Biosciences: Maryland has more than 350 bioscience companies. They are the fastest-growing group in the United States. They receive more than $7 billion in federal research and development funding, and the per capita federal research and development funding ranks second in the United States. The proportion of professional and technical employees ranks second in the US state; the density of scientists and engineers with doctoral degrees ranks second in the US state. The state government has invested US$450 million in the construction of the biological sciences infrastructure to ensure that the driving distance between company partners, major research universities and the Federal Research Institute usually does not take an hour.

Environmental protection industry: The environmental protection industry in Maryland includes industrial waste treatment, drinking water and sewage treatment, solid waste recycling, hazardous and toxic waste treatment, and emerging anti-pollution industries. This is a relatively young industry, but it is developing very rapidly, and now has 5,268 companies. The environmental protection industry includes a wide range of services and technologies. Engineering services and business services are currently the two largest industries. The domestic demand for environmental protection services and related equipment in the United States is increasing. The amendments to the Clean Air Act implemented in 1990 have also promoted the development of the environmental protection market. In addition, the reduction in the number of urban waste landfills in the city puts forward higher requirements for the development of new technologies in waste treatment, recycling and destruction processes. Therefore, in the environmental protection branches of Maryland, waste treatment, especially urban waste treatment, has developed rapidly. With the implementation of more and more stringent anti-pollution measures, the market prospects for environmental protection equipment will be broader.

IV. Investment Environment

(1) Preferential Tax Policies

Job creation tax credit: Maryland provides companies with a $1,000 tax credit to encourage companies to expand production or relocate to Maryland.

Maryland Enterprise Park: Enterprises settled in the Maryland Enterprise Park can enjoy income tax and property tax credits to reward enterprises for job creation and investment.

Maryland Project Tax Credit: Companies that invest in economic development projects in "eligible counties with poor development conditions" can enjoy project tax credits of up to 5 million U.S. dollars, and can enjoy up to 500,000 U.S. dollars in taxes credit when establishing a business.

R&D tax credit: If a company operating in Maryland meets the R&D expenditure criteria, it can enjoy a tax credit after approval by the Maryland Department of Commerce and Economic Development (DBED). In the past 4 years, the basic R&D tax credit accounted for 3% of the average R&D expenditure of a company. In fact, the total tax credit exceeds $3 million.

Biotechnology investment tax credit: Maryland provides income tax credits for qualified biotechnology companies, which account for 50% of the investment. The project rewards up to $250,000 to biotech companies in the initial stage. The total amount of tax credits approved for each fiscal year cannot exceed the budget. The tax credit application and approval are based on the principle of "First Come, First Served".

Brownfield Renaissance Active Plan (BRIP): Real estate that meets the plan can enjoy property tax credits. The property must be covered by the plan, and the owner must have no criminal record. Five years after the real estate has been profitable, the real estate tax credits that can be enjoyed account for 50%-70% of the value-added of the land. In corporate parks, tax credits can last up to 10 years. This credit plus other real estate tax credits cannot exceed 100% of the real estate value-added tax.

Financing: The financial support provided by the Maryland State government may include one or more of the following: low-interest loans, loan guarantees, and credit enhancements. Before providing financial support, the Maryland Department of Commerce and Economic Development must evaluate the economic benefits of the project. If the economic benefits meet the state's economic development goals, the applicant will be invited to implement the project. Some projects require local sponsorship and participation.

Other incentives include:

Manufacturing: Maryland manufacturers benefit from a single sales share and other incentives, including no gross income tax, capital-intensive manufacturing, no sales tax, for manufacturing, equipment or material research and development, and productive energy consumption of tangible personal assets are also not subject to sales tax. Companies in the state do not need to pay state corporate property taxes, company franchise taxes, and foreign-invested companies' dividends and personal income taxes (if the company has a subsidiary of 50% or more).

Life Science: The "2020 BioMaryland Initiative" plans to invest 1.3 billion US dollars in the Maryland life sciences industry by 2020. This investment is the project with the largest capital investment per capita in the United States. The Maryland Life Technology Center was established in 2009, and its research projects cover corporate and workforce development, and federal networks.

Clean Energy: The "Creating a Clean Environment Initiative" is a joint project between the State of Maryland and the University of Maryland, which will promote the large-scale production of commercial renewable energy. The state government provides long-term energy purchase contracts to clean energy developers, aiming to realize the use of renewable energy to generate electricity while creating green jobs.

The Maryland International Venture Park aims to attract foreign companies to invest in the state and promote the growth of foreign companies. The Pioneer Park is a joint venture project between the State Department of Business and Economic Development and the University of Maryland Parker College. It provides support for R&D, business development, preferential land use and other aspects to foreign-funded companies that wish to invest in the state to invest in the establishment of factories.

(2) Main Advantages of Doing Business in Maryland

1. Tax policy environment: The main idea of Maryland's tax policy is to ensure fairness and consistency. Except for tax cuts and credits, the state does not levy gross income taxes on manufacturers, does not levy corporate franchise taxes, and does not have a unified profit tax and intangible asset tax. Ernst & Young’s latest business tax survey shows that companies operating in Maryland pay the lowest proportions of state and local taxes. Business taxes account for 32.1% of the state’s total taxes, while the national average is 44.4%.

2. Geographical location and logistics: Maryland is one of the important transportation hubs in the United States. Here are the best highways in the United States and an extensive rail network. Two major international airports connect the rest of the United States and the rest of the world. The Port of Baltimore is one of the busiest international deep-water ports in the United States, connecting the East Coast of the United States with the rest of the world. The advantageous geographical location has greatly promoted the vigorous development of Maryland's diversified economy.

3. Labor environment: Maryland ranks in the bottom 10 in terms of manufacturing, and manufacturing costs are 21% lower than the national average. The compensation for employees of the official clerical positions in Maryland ranks among the bottom 7 in the United States, 38% lower than the national average.

4. Number of talents: Maryland ranks first in terms of scientists and engineers with doctorate degrees per 100,000 employed workers; In terms of the proportion of occupational and skilled workers in the labor force, Maryland ranks second; In terms of talent concentration in high-tech industries, Maryland ranks 15th; In terms of the concentration of doctoral scientists in the computer and information industries, Maryland ranks seventh. Maryland has a well-developed regional education network, with local colleges, community colleges, and distance education centers. World-renowned universities such as Johns Hopkins University, Maryland State University System, U.S. Naval Academy, Morgan State University are located here.

5. Business costs: The Maryland State government provides extensive support for foreign companies to invest locally, including market research on operating costs (number of labor, wage levels, etc.), construction site selection, recommendation of lawyers and financial personnel, etc. Compared with neighboring states, Maryland has more competitive advantages in the cost of living and doing business (including energy and real estate).

6. 400 research centers and 60 universities are the driving factors for innovation and higher education in Maryland. The state ranks second in the federal government's R&D investment spending, receiving 12.2 billion U.S. dollars in funding each year.

7. Strong foreign direct investment (FDI) is an important part of the state’s economic growth. Nearly 500 foreign companies from 30 countries are located here. Large multinational corporations in Maryland include British Aerospace Systems (BAESystems), BP Oil, FoodLion, GiantFood, Honda, IKEA, QIAGEN, Teva, etc.

8. Approximately 5,000 companies operating in Maryland are engaged in export business, exporting nearly tens of billions of dollars to more than 200 countries overseas. Canada, Germany, China, the United Kingdom and Belgium are the state's largest export markets.

9. Quality of life: The quality of life of the residents of this state is better, the average income level is higher, the public school system is the best in the United States, and it has the most advanced medical care in the world. Maryland is often referred to as "the United States in miniature". Residents of the state enjoy and can choose different lifestyles and activities, including seaside vacations, life in the mountains with clean air, noisy urban life or quaint town and village life.

10. Adjacent to the District of Columbia: Maryland is close to Washington, DC, the capital of the United States. A large number of federal agencies such as the National Bureau of Statistics, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), the Environmental Protection Administration (EPA), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and the Department of Taxation (IRS) are located in the state. It is also close to 174 foreign embassies, so the state has rich political, cultural and diplomatic resources.

V. Economic and Trade Situation

The total trade volume of Maryland in 2019 was 48.542 billion U.S. dollars. Among them, the export value was 13.054 billion U.S. dollars, and the five largest export markets were France, Canada, Japan, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom in order. The main export products are civil aviation and engine parts, liquefied natural gas, diagnostic and laboratory supplies, mineral products and military supplies. Imports amounted to 35.487 billion U.S. dollars. The five major sources of imports in the state are the United Kingdom, Germany, Japan, Mexico, and China. The main imported products are transportation equipment, mechanical equipment, aluminum alloys, excavators, etc.