Governor to meet with new business prospects, existing industry executives
FRANKFORT Ky. (Nov. 14, 2014) – In an effort to strengthen and encourage international investment in Kentucky, Gov. Steve Beshear will depart Nov. 15 for an economic development trip to Japan.
During the five-day event, the Governor, accompanied by executive staff at the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development, will showcase Kentucky’s business-friendly climate and strengthen existing ties with Japanese companies already operating in the Commonwealth.
More than 160 Japanese facilities are in Kentucky, employing more than 40,000 people.
“We are very determined in our efforts to engage and attract Japanese companies seeking to locate or expand in the U.S., and our track record shows success,” Beshear said. “It is my goal to continue to aggressively market Kentucky’s many business advantages to the international business community and to bring more investment and jobs to the Commonwealth.”
Japanese companies continue to make significant investments in Kentucky. In the past two years, 52 Japanese companies have announced plans to invest more than $1.3 billion statewide. Toyota, for example, is preparing to roll out its new Lexus line in Georgetown – the first U.S. plant to produce the luxury vehicle.
Earlier this year, a joint venture between UACJ Corporation, of Japan, and Europe-based Constellium N.V. announced plans to open a $150 million aluminum facility in Bowling Green.
Other companies to announce projects recently include Kowa (Corbin), Toyo Automotive (Franklin) and Green Tokai (Maysville).
Foreign direct investment has played an important role in boosting Kentucky’s economy. Last year, nearly 40 percent of all capital investment and a third of new jobs announced in the manufacturing, service and technology industries were a result of foreign-owned enterprises.
“We are seeing more and more Japanese companies making the decision to locate or grow here,” 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.”
To boost economic development leads from Asian companies, Kentucky also operates an international office in Tokyo, Japan. 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 Japanese business leaders.
Beshear is scheduled to return to Kentucky Nov. 20.