Governor Asa Hutchinson and Arkansas Economic Development Commission (AEDC) Executive Director Mike Preston will travel to Japan and China November 15-24 on a business recruitment trip.
The purpose of the trip is to meet with prospective companies considering locating or expanding in the United States. In addition to meeting new prospects, Governor Hutchinson and Mr. Preston will also meet with representatives of companies that already have a presence in Arkansas.
“In order to demonstrate Arkansas’ interest in Japanese and Chinese companies considering investing in the United States, it is important we meet face to face with leaders of these companies,” Governor Hutchinson said. “Through this trip, we will build new relationships while ensuring those companies headquartered in Asia that already do business in the state have what they need to stay and grow in Arkansas.”
Eighteen of the 98 projects which signed incentive agreements with AEDC in 2014 were by foreign-owned corporations. These eighteen projects announced plans to create more than 567 new jobs in Arkansas.
There were six Asian countries among Arkansas’ top 20 trading partners in 2014 accounting for 21.47 percent of all exports from Arkansas.
AEDC has maintained an office in Japan since 1985. The Japan Office promotes foreign direct investment in Japan, the Republic of South Korea, India and countries in Southeast Asia. There are currently 16 Japanese companies with 19 locations in Arkansas employing approximately 5,300 workers. AEDC established Arkansas’s first China Office in 2008. The China Office has taken several steps to lay the state’s foundation for recruiting investment. Four Chinese companies and one Taiwanese company have a presence in Arkansas.