FRANKFORT Ky. (April 10, 2015) – In an effort to further strengthen and encourage international investment in Kentucky, Governor Steve Beshear will depart Saturday for an economic development trip to Asia.
The Governor, accompanied by First Lady Jane Beshear and executive staff at the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development, will meet with company and country officials in Taiwan, Singapore and Japan. The delegation will showcase Kentucky’s business-friendly climate and strengthen existing ties with Asian companies already operating in the Commonwealth.
More than 170 Asian facilities, which employ 40,000 people, are in Kentucky.
“I’m very excited for the opportunity to visit Taiwan, Singapore and Japan,” said Gov. Beshear. “Mutual goodwill, economic development and prosperity are common goals we all share. We’re looking forward to capitalizing on the enormous potential that exists, as well as strengthening existing relationships and building new ones that will further enhance our economic ties with three of the world’s largest economies.”
Foreign direct investment plays an important role in boosting Kentucky’s economy. Last year, nearly a third of all capital investment and a fifth of new jobs announced in the manufacturing, service and technology industries were a result of foreign-owned enterprises.
In Taiwan, Gov. Beshear will meet with Taiwan president Ma Ying-jeou and other government dignitaries to further explore trade and investment opportunities. Kentucky and Taiwan have celebrated a sister-state relationship for more than 30 years. Former Gov. John Y. Brown formed the partnership in 1982 for the purpose of bringing about mutual welfare and prosperity by economic, trade, social and cultural developments.
Similarly in Singapore, the delegation will meet with business organizations and country officials to introduce Kentucky’s business advantages to a number of potential prospects. The stop will mark the Governor’s first visit to Singapore.
The final leg of the trip will commence in Japan, where Gov. Beshear will attend several events in conjunction with the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce’s mission. One such event will be a business reception hosted by U.S. Ambassador Caroline Kennedy in honor of Gov. Beshear. Additional meetings with existing industries and new economic development opportunities will also take place.
“Kentucky has a crucial relationship with Japan,” said Kentucky Chamber President Dave Adkisson. “Our key purpose of this trip is to say ‘thank you’ to the Japanese companies that have invested in Kentucky by locating operations here. Not only are Toyota and its suppliers integral to our economic future, but we also have significant investments with Brown-Forman corporation, Suntory Beam and many others.”
Japanese companies continue to make significant investments in Kentucky. In the past five years, Japanese companies have announced investments of more than $2.2 billion in their Kentucky facilities, which are expected to create nearly 6,000 jobs.
“We are seeing more and more Asian companies making the decision to invest in the Commonwealth,” said Cabinet for Economic Development Secretary Larry Hayes. “This trip will allow us to personalize relationships with companies, business organizations, as well as country officials, and build a strong case for Kentucky as a great place to do business.”
Gov. Beshear is scheduled to return to Kentucky April 22.
The Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development is the primary state agency responsible for encouraging new jobs and investment in the state. New capital investment announced in Kentucky in 2015 totaled a state record $5.1 billion, spurring more than 16,000 projected new jobs. Information on available industrial properties, workforce development assistance, incentive programs, community profiles, small business development and other economic development resources is available at www.ThinkKentucky.com.