Gov. Matt Bevin is to leave Kentucky on Saturday for a quick economic development trip to Japan.
A news release from Bevin’s office Friday said the governor, who has a bachelor’s degree in East Asian studies and is fluent in Japanese, will lead a delegation including Economic Development Secretary Terry Gill and other state and local officials.
The governor’s office did not identify all those going on the trip but said the group is to meet with leaders of Japanese manufacturing and technology companies already in the state, as well as prospective companies.
“We will deliver our compelling message — that no place in America offers a better location for business investment, job creation and future growth than Kentucky,” Bevin said. “We want to ensure that global firms look to the commonwealth first when planning a new or expansion project in the U.S. Establishing and strengthening our personal relationships with these business leaders is a major step toward that goal.”
In addition to corporate executives, members of the Kentucky delegation will meet with the Japan External Trade Organization and U.S. Embassy staff.
Bevin is to return from the trip March 7. Gill and other delegation members are to return later in the week.
Partners on the mission include the World Trade Center Kentucky, the Japan/America Society of Kentucky, KentuckyUnited and the U.S. Commercial Service.
Japanese-owned companies operate more than 180 facilities in Kentucky, making Japan the state’s No. 1 international investor. Those facilities directly employ more than 44,400 people full-time. More than 130 of those facilities are in the state’s automotive industry.