FRANKFORT, Ky. – On an economic development trip this week to East Asia, Gov. Matt Bevin is strengthening ties with Japan and the Republic of Korea, encouraging additional job creation and investment in the commonwealth.
Gov. Bevin attended the National Governors Association (NGA) U.S.-Japan Governors Forum in Tokyo, meeting with Japanese officials and business leaders to discuss workforce development, business innovation and economic growth.
Japan is Kentucky’s number one foreign director investor, with nearly 200 facilities in the commonwealth operated by Japanese-owned companies. Kentucky ranks second nationally in the percentage of jobs supported by Japanese foreign direct investment. Japanese-owned companies employ approximately 45,000 Kentuckians and, during the Bevin Administration to date, Japanese-owned companies have announced nearly $3 billion in new investment and a corresponding 4,000 jobs for the state.
On Wednesday, Gov. Bevin will travel to Seoul for a trade mission with Executive Officer Vivek Sarin of the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development. The mission will include meetings with Korean business executives, trade and industry associations and U.S. Ambassador to South Korea Harry Harris.
Five businesses with roots in the Republic of Korea currently operate or are building a total of six facilities in Kentucky. Those operations employ nearly 400 Kentuckians and an additional 200 jobs have been pledged.
This year through June, Kentucky exported approximately $227 million in products and services to the Republic of Korea. The top five products exported included:
- Aerospace products and parts
- Pharmaceuticals and medicines
- Other fabricated metal products
- Basic chemicals
- Resins and synthetic rubber products
Through June 2018, Kentucky exported approximately $16 billion in goods to all countries and ranks fifth in the U.S. for exports per capita.
Information on Kentucky’s economic development efforts and programs is available at ThinkKentucky.com.