Governor Steve Beshear arrived in India today on a seven-day economic development visit, with goals of promoting Kentucky as an ideal business location to the second most populous nation in the world.
This is Gov. Beshear's third trip to India. Last year, Beshear announced 250 new jobs in Elizabethtown for India-based packaging company, Flex Films, which stemmed from his previous visit. The company is investing $180 million in the Commonwealth.
"We've already established strong ties with several Indian companies and are very optimistic about our ability to position the Commonwealth as a prime location for Indian business owners looking to enter the U.S. marketplace," said Gov. Beshear. "I believe we are on the forefront of securing many investment opportunities from India, and our ability to make personal connections with key decision makers is a large part of our success."
Kentucky has been very successful in attracting foreign direct investment in recent years. Nearly 30 percent of all capital investment and more than 22 percent of all jobs announced in 2011 were a result of foreign-owned enterprises.
To build on that momentum, Gov. Beshear made economic development visits to Taiwan and Japan in May and Germany and France in July, working to grow existing ties with companies in those nations, as well as to establish new relationships for future opportunities. Kentucky is already home to more than 420 internationally based companies from nearly 30 nations, employing approximately 76,000 people.
"We've been working very hard to attract foreign direct investment into the Commonwealth," said Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development Secretary Larry Hayes, who will join Gov. Beshear on the trip. "Our goal is to demonstrate that Kentucky is a dynamic and business-friendly location for global companies, with lower operating costs than other sections of the country, robust economic incentive programs and a vibrant, skilled workforce."
India represents one of the fastest growing economies in the world and is a leading trade and economic partner for the United States. India's foreign direct investment in the United States was up 221 percent from 2007 to 2011, which is the 10th highest growth for all countries during that period.
In 2011, Indian investors owned gross property, plant and equipment assets worth nearly $9.78 billion in the United States, up $1.2 billion from 2010. There are currently eight India-owned companies in Kentucky, employing more than 1,500 people.
Information on Kentucky's economic development efforts and programs is available at www.ThinkKentucky.com. Fans of the Cabinet for Economic Development can also join the discussion on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/ThinkKentucky or follow on Twitter at www.Twitter.com/ThinkKentucky.