FRANKFORT Ky. (Sept. 20, 2012) – Gov. Steve Beshear will depart Saturday for an economic development trip to Europe, with meetings planned in Germany, Spain and Austria to showcase Kentucky’s business-friendly climate and to strengthen existing ties with European companies already operating facilities in the Commonwealth.
European companies, which employ nearly 26,000 people across the commonwealth, have a strong presence in Kentucky, accounting for 170 of Kentucky’s 400-plus foreign-owned firms.
“Kentucky has been very determined in its efforts to engage and attract companies seeking to locate or expand in the U.S., especially those from Europe and Japan. Our track record for success shows,” Beshear said. “It is my goal to continue to aggressively market the commonwealth’s many business advantages to the international business community and to build upon the momentum we have cultivated.”
Foreign direct investment has played an important role in boosting Kentucky’s economy. Last year, nearly 35 percent of all capital investment and almost 20 percent of new jobs announced in the manufacturing, service and technology industries were a result of foreign-owned enterprises.
The Lane Report detailed the state’s foreign direct investment efforts in a July 2013 article, “Big economic development in small towns.”
So far this year, Gov. Beshear has announced the location of 10 new foreign-owned companies to the Commonwealth, including Kayser Automotive Systems in Fulton; Dr. Schneider Automotive Systems in Russell Springs; Alpla in Bowling Green; and Hayashi Telempu in Frankfort. In all, nearly 13,400 new jobs and capital investments in excess of $3.7 billion have been announced by foreign-owned companies during Gov. Beshear’s administration.
To boost economic development leads from European companies, Kentucky opened an office in Hamburg, Germany, in the summer of 2011. During the upcoming trip, Beshear will follow up on several business opportunities that have arisen thanks to the on-the-ground, in-country support designed to develop relationships with European business leaders.
“We are seeing several active projects with European companies that are in the decision-making mode,” said Cabinet for Economic Development Secretary Larry Hayes. “This trip will allow us to personalize those relationships and build a strong case for Kentucky as the ideal location for their business needs.”
“Kentucky is proving that it has the attributes, assets and quality business climate that globally minded companies are seeking,” added Gov. Beshear. “I plan to share that message with both new and existing prospects, located in several areas of Europe, in order to plant the necessary seeds for continued economic growth.”
Gov. Beshear is scheduled to return to Kentucky on Oct. 1.