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Jan 08, 2014
Gov. Jindal Announces Economic Development Mission to Japan, South Korea & Taiwan

BATON ROUGE – Governor Bobby Jindal announced an economic development mission today to Japan, South Korea and Taiwan to cultivate more foreign-direct investment opportunities and increased trade between Louisiana and key Asian markets. 
 
Governor Jindal will be meeting with dozens of corporate executives in energy, chemicals, and manufacturing industries, including companies already doing business in Louisiana. In total, Governor Jindal will be meeting with ten companies, including companies that are actively considering projects in Louisiana.
 
Governor Jindal said, “When I took office, I said our top priority was to make Louisiana the best place in the world to find a job and raise a family. That’s why we instituted major reforms in the areas of ethics, workforce development, education, and taxes. Our work has paid off.
 
“We now have more people employed than ever in Louisiana. After more than two decades of more people leaving Louisiana than moving into the state, and after being the only state in the South with consistent outmigration, more people have been moving into Louisiana than moving out for the past five years. 
 
“This is all great news, but we cannot become complacent. We cannot rest on our laurels. We need to ensure this economic growth is sustainable into the future for many generations. 
 
“For the past six years, we have focused mainly on cultivating existing companies in Louisiana, and attracting investment from companies based inside the United States. We’ve been very successful in these efforts and we will continue to cultivate new investment and new jobs.
 
“But that alone will not create a sustainable pipeline of jobs for future generations of Louisianians. We need to diversify and go beyond our country’s borders. We need to focus on the next frontier for business opportunities. 
 
“Our economic development efforts have already included attracting companies from across the globe to Louisiana, but it’s time to ramp up those efforts.  Louisiana already has a very strong position in trade and foreign direct investment, but we believe there is an opportunity in front of us to create more jobs associated with trade, foreign direct investment, and re-shoring projects. 
 
Governor Jindal emphasized that Louisiana is an attractive sign for more foreign direct investment. 
 
The Governor said, “Our state is ripe for more foreign direct investment. When multinational companies seek to expand into the U.S., they typically look for three key assets: a business-friendly investment climate; availability of an extensive infrastructure that provides access to large consumer markets; and an efficient and available workforce that meets their needs.
 
“Louisiana has clear advantages in all three of these areas. We consistently rank in the top ten nationally in several business climate rankings; our infrastructure in terms of ports, rail, highways and pipelines is second to none; and Louisiana’s workforce, combined with the best state workforce development program in the nation, LED FastStart, meets the demands of the contemporary economy across an array of leading industries.
 
“Louisiana also offers one of the most extensive deepwater and inland waterway port systems in the world. We provide a comprehensive shipping and logistics solution for bulk commodities, containerized cargo, and land-based truck and rail freight.
 
“The bottom line is that Louisiana has a great story to tell – featuring a highly competitive tax structure, world class workforce development programs, an outstanding workforce, competitive energy costs, unparalleled infrastructure, and strong governmental ethics laws – and I want to make sure that our story is known across the globe by business leaders.”
 
Below are the Governor’s remarks as prepared for delivery. Note: The Governor often speaks off the cuff. 

When I took office, I said our top priority was to make Louisiana the best place in the world to find a job and raise a family. 
 
That’s why we instituted major reforms in the areas of ethics, workforce development, education, and taxes. 
 
Our work has paid off.
 
We have announced economic development wins that are resulting in more than 80,000 new jobs and more than $50 billion in private capital investment. 
 
We now have more people employed than ever in Louisiana. 
 
Louisiana now ranks higher in every national business-climate ranking than it ever did prior to January 2008.
 
Louisiana’s GDP has grown by $36 billion since we took office, representing growth that is nearly 50 percent faster than the national GDP. 
 
Per capita income in our state is at its highest level in more than 80 years. 
 
After more than two decades of more people leaving Louisiana than moving into the state, and after being the only state in the South with consistent outmigration, more people have been moving into Louisiana than moving out for the past five years. 
 
This is all great news, but we cannot become complacent. We cannot rest on our laurels. 
 
We need to ensure this economic growth is sustainable into the future for many generations. 
 
For the past six years, we have focused mainly on cultivating existing companies in Louisiana, and attracting investment from companies based inside the United States.
 
We’ve been very successful in these efforts and we will continue to cultivate new investment and new jobs.
 
But that alone will not create a sustainable pipeline of jobs for future generations of Louisianians. 
 
We need to diversify and go beyond our country’s borders. 
 
We need to focus on the next frontier for business opportunities. 
 
Our economic development efforts have already included attracting companies from across the globe to Louisiana, but it’s time to ramp up those efforts. 

Louisiana already has a very strong position in trade and foreign direct investment, but we believe there is an opportunity in front of us to create more jobs associated with trade, foreign direct investment, and re-shoring projects. 
 
LED has worked with the new Louisiana Board of International Commerce to develop our state’s first Master Plan for International Commerce, which recently was adopted unanimously by the board.
 
The master plan development effort indicated that, with little change in our current efforts, we can expect to create roughly 7,000 to 8,000 new jobs annually over the next five years from foreign direct investment attraction and increased trade, or about 35,000 to 40,000 jobs in total. 
 
However, the master plan includes a variety of new initiatives, the implementation of which would enable us to roughly double these job-creation numbers, meaning we have the potential to produce up to 75,000 new jobs from international-commerce activities in Louisiana over the next five years, or about 15,000 new jobs per year. 
 
Going forward, we see big opportunities to cultivate foreign direct investment, trade, or re-shoring projects across a variety of sectors, including automotive manufacturing, industrial machinery, plastics, rubber products, chemicals, software and IT, business process outsourcing, and telecommunications.
 
While we expect to do business with dozens of countries, we expect the biggest opportunities from a foreign direct investment perspective will be associated with companies based in Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Germany, Canada, and the UK. China and India will represent additional targets.
 
From a bulk cargo trading perspective, the top countries of opportunity will include China, Mexico, Canada, Japan, Brazil, South Korea, Chile, Indonesia, India, and Singapore.

On Saturday, Secretary Moret and I will be departing for a one-week marketing and business development mission to Asia, including visits to Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan. 
 
The purpose of the trip is to cultivate more foreign-direct investment opportunities and increased trade between Louisiana and key Asian markets. 
 
We will be meeting with dozens of corporate executives in energy, chemicals, and manufacturing industries, including companies already doing business in Louisiana, as well as companies with which we’re cultivating business relationships. 
 
In several cases, we will be visiting with companies that are actively considering projects in Louisiana.
 
In total, we will be meeting with ten companies. 
 
Most of these companies are large, global manufacturers with the equivalent of billions of dollars in annual sales.
 
Additionally, we will be meeting with senior government officials and trade professionals to discuss expanding business ties between Louisiana and Asian markets.
 
I want to personally communicate that my administration stands ready to assist the development of their respective projects in Louisiana and that these companies should consider our state as a strong partner in their prospective operations in Louisiana.
 
We are targeting a number of markets with a track record of significant outward foreign direct investment. In the aggregate, Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan represent the largest source of foreign direct investment projects for which Louisiana is currently in contention.
 
You might ask, “Why are you traveling overseas now?” Two reasons. 
 
First, early on in our administration, most of the project opportunities we saw were associated with U.S.-based companies like ConAgra, EA, Gardner Denver, Folgers, Nucor, Ronpak, and CenturyLink, whereas more recently, we’ve seen a big shift to foreign direct investment projects over the last 18-24 months.
 
Indeed, Louisiana has become a national powerhouse in attracting large-scale, multibillion-dollar international projects. Foreign, multinational companies – such as Sasol, Gameloft, and Benteler – have been attracted to Louisiana’s unique assets and LED’s custom-fit, public-private partnerships to develop workforce and infrastructure.
 
Significantly increased trade and foreign direct investment in Louisiana have helped enable our state economy to substantially outperform the rest of the country since we took office. 
 
In fact, during my administration we have attracted over $26 billion worth of foreign direct investment to date with more projects and investments in the pipeline.
 
Over the last few years, on a per capita basis, Louisiana has become the foreign direct investment leader of the South and the nation, and according to the U.S. Chamber, we’re now the top overall performing state for exports in the U.S., but we think we have opportunities to secure even more jobs.
 
Second, with a global economic recovery finally underway, the number of foreign direct investment opportunities is likely to substantially increase. 
 
We want Louisiana to be a leader in that trend of increased investment in the United States.
 
Additionally, with rapidly growing labor, energy, and real estate costs in Asia, a variety of experts expect that a significant amount of manufacturing and software development activity is heading back to the U.S., creating a major new re-shoring trend that could results in tens of thousands of new jobs in the South.
 
This trip also represents an opportunity for us to develop deeper relationships with companies based in Asia that already have invested billions of dollars in Louisiana, such as Formosa and Shintech. 
 
We will discuss how we can support their current operations as well as explore the possibility of future growth opportunities with them. Even as we court business investment from companies that don’t yet do business in Louisiana, we need to always pay attention to our existing employers, which continue to be our top economic-development priority.
 
Asia is a particularly important part of the world to visit for a few reasons. 
 
First, countries like Japan and South Korea are expected to be two of the biggest country drivers of foreign direct investment in the U.S. over the next few years. 
 
Second, corporate executives in those countries place a great deal of importance on having direct personal relationships with top government officials in the states in which they invest. 
 
Third, we are actively being considered for several projects of global companies based in those countries that could result in billions of dollars of new investment and thousands of new jobs in our state.
 
For all of these reasons, this business development mission is a major opportunity to support economic development in Louisiana.
 
Our state is ripe for more foreign direct investment. 
 
When multinational companies seek to expand into the U.S., they typically look for three key assets: a business-friendly investment climate; availability of an extensive infrastructure that provides access to large consumer markets; and an efficient and available workforce that meets their needs.
 
Louisiana has clear advantages in all three of these areas. We consistently rank in the top ten nationally in several business climate rankings; our infrastructure in terms of ports, rail, highways and pipelines is second to none; and Louisiana’s workforce, combined with the best state workforce development program in the nation, LED FastStart, meets the demands of the contemporary economy across an array of leading industries.
 
Louisiana also offers one of the most extensive deepwater and inland waterway port systems in the world. We provide a comprehensive shipping and logistics solution for bulk commodities, containerized cargo, and land-based truck and rail freight.
 
The bottom line is that Louisiana has a great story to tell – featuring a highly competitive tax structure, world-class workforce development programs, an outstanding workforce, competitive energy costs, unparalleled infrastructure, and strong governmental ethics laws – and I want to make sure that our story is known across the globe by business leaders. 
 
Thank you. 
 
 
 
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