FRANKFORT, Ky. — Gov. Matt Bevin today signed an Open Investment Proclamation recognizing the significance of foreign direct investment (FDI) to Kentucky’s economy. Approximately 7.4 percent of the state’s total employment is a result of FDI, and FDI is responsible for employing over 117,000 workers in the commonwealth.
“Foreign direct investment is critical for Kentucky’s economy and is essential to our competitiveness as we recruit jobs and provide growth opportunities for our local communities,” said Gov. Bevin. “Our work to attract FDI has uniquely positioned Kentucky to leverage global investment as we expand our economy and promote our state’s exports. Nearly 60 percent of all FDI jobs in the commonwealth are in the manufacturing sector, and I am confident that we will see even more opportunities provided by FDI as Kentucky becomes the engineering and manufacturing center of excellence in America.”
Gov. Bevin was joined by representatives from the Organization for International Investment (OFII) and AAF Flanders for the event at AAF Flanders’ global headquarters in Louisville. AAF Flanders is one of approximately 640 global employers with operations in Kentucky. Daikin Industries LTD., based in Osaka, Japan, is the parent company of AAF Flanders and is a diversified international manufacturing company with $5 billion in revenue in the United States.
“AAF Flanders is honored to be recognized by Gov. Bevin’s administration for our commitment to foreign investment in Kentucky by allowing us to host his Open Investment Policy announcement today,” said Phil Whitaker, CEO of AAF Flanders. “We’ve been a pioneer in clean air innovation for nearly 100 years, and as we look to the future, we will continue to explore opportunities to expand and enhance our Kentucky operations with the support and resources of our global parent company, Daikin.”
The proclamation recognizes Kentucky as a welcoming environment for investment from global companies and reiterates the commonwealth’s commitment to attract jobs and recruit the next generation of industries through partnerships with global employers.
In the past five years, Kentucky’s FDI employment has increased 31.5 percent, and the commonwealth’s percentage of jobs supported by global investment is higher than the national average. However, jobs are not the only benefit provided by international companies. Companies that locate and invest in Kentucky often bring training programs, development opportunities and industry-leading best practices to support the local workforce.
“As Governor Bevin knows, international companies are a good yardstick for gauging a state’s economic competitiveness,” said Clinton Blair, a Morgan County native and vice president of public policy and government affairs at OFII. “Many may not realize it, but Kentucky is fourth in the nation when it comes to its share of workers employed by international companies. The Governor’s action today serves as a powerful signal to potential employers around the world looking to invest in the United States. It reaffirms that Kentucky is open for business and is committed to treating international companies fairly and helping them succeed.”
View a copy of the Open Investment Proclamation signed by Gov. Bevin here.