Gov. Asa Hutchinson and Arkansas Economic Development Commission Executive Director Mike Preston announced today, Nov. 6, that they will travel to Japan and China Nov. 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. Hutchinson and 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,” Hutchinson said in a statement. “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 18 projects will create nearly 570 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.
Tentative Schedule for Japan, China Trip
Nov. 17 — Tokyo, Japan
- Meet with two manufacturing companies
- Meet with food processing company
- Interview with local media
Nov. 18 — Tokyo/Nagoya, Japan
- Meeting with Ambassador Caroline Kennedy
- Hutchinson speaks at luncheon organized by the American Chamber of Commerce in Japan’s Chubu Chapter
- Meetings with two manufacturing companies
Nov. 19 — Arrive in Qingdao/Jinan, China
- Meet with prospective company
- Travel to Jinan
Nov. 20 — Jinan/Jining, Shandong province
- Meet with the Governor of Shandong Province
- Lunch hosted by Jining government
- Visit with two prospective companies
Nov. 21 — Jining/Guangzhou/Guangdong Province
Nov. 22 — Guanghzou/Zhengzhou
- Morning: Chinese Provinces-U.S. States Economic & Trade Conference, B2B Meeting
- Luncheon with top Chinese leaders in business and government
- Afternoon: Travel
Nov. 23 — Zhengzhou/ Beijing
- Visit three prospective companies
- Meeting with the Governor of Henan Province
Nov. 24 — Beijing/ Little Rock
- Meet with Jiang Zengwei, chairman of the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade
- Meet with Chairman Ding Xuedong of China Investment Corporation
- Lunch hosted by Mr. Xie Yuan, vice president of CPAFFC
- Meet with Ambassador Max Baucus, US Embassy Beijing