|RALEIGH – Gov. Bev Perdue and N.C. Department of Commerce Secretary Keith Crisco have departed for Japan to lead a delegation to the high-profile Southeast U.S./Japan Annual Joint Meeting in Tokyo. While in Japan, Gov. Perdue and officials with the Commerce Department will also be meeting with export clients along with business prospects considering new investments. Sec. Crisco will travel to China following the SEUS/Japan conference for two days to recruit companies in Shanghai and other cities in Zhejiang Province.
During the visit, the economic development meetings will focus on growing sectors in North Carolina including energy, advanced manufacturing, automotive, life sciences and pharmaceuticals.
“I’m here for one reason: to try to boost North Carolina’s thriving business sector and grow more jobs in our state,” said Gov. Perdue. “I look forward to reinvigorating some of our standing partnerships, and to forging new opportunities this week.”
This year marks the 35th annual gathering of the SEUS/Japan conference, which brings together senior-level executives from Japan and seven states in the Southeast to explore business opportunities between the two countries. Five governors from the Southeast will be leading their state delegations to the conference. The Japanese Chairman for the meeting is Hiromasa Yonekura, who also leads the influential Japanese Business Federation (Keidanren).
Over the last five years, Japan is second in the amount of direct investment made in North Carolina. Japan is also North Carolina’s 4th largest trading partner, exporting more than $1.7 billion worth of products and services. North Carolina is home to more than 150 Japanese firms, with capital investments around $5 billion -- including companies like Toshiba, Hitatchi, Honda and Mitsubishi. Over the last ten years, international investment and job creation has accounted for about 15 percent of all investment and jobs in North Carolina, amounting to more than $10 billion in investment and 47,000 jobs. China is North Carolina’s 2nd largest trading partner now, exporting over $2.2 billion worth of products and services.
Gov. Perdue and Sec. Crisco led economic development missions in Asia in 2009 and 2011.