April 6, 2016

Kentucky continues attracting jobs, investment from internationally owned companies

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Nearly one-third of all new business investments and about one in five jobs announced in the Commonwealth last year came from internationally owned companies, according to data from the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development.

That accounted for nearly $1.6 billion of the record-setting $5.1 billion in projects by businesses either expanding or locating new facilities in the state.

International investment – known as foreign direct investment (FDI) – can open doors to additional international trade, promote technology and knowledge transfer and help stabilize the host economy through industry diversification. Less tangibly, FDI can encourage the transfer of cultural understanding and knowledge between groups and societies. 

Last year, 3,100 of the more than 16,000 new jobs announced in Kentucky came from FDI. Currently almost 90,000 Kentuckians are employed by 450 internationally owned facilities in the state. Those represent 33 countries and all of Kentucky’s key industries – automotive, food and beverage, aerospace, rubber and plastics, healthcare, distribution and logistics, primary metals and chemicals.

The Commonwealth is home to 178 European-owned facilities, which employ almost 29,000 Kentuckians, and 175 Japanese-owned facilities, employing nearly 43,000 people.

The outlook for FDI appears healthy, at least according to Site Selectors Guild, which released results of a survey in March indicating FDI in the U.S. will increase over the next three years, particularly from Germany and China.

Through the first quarter of 2016, Kentucky saw significant investments by internationally owned companies. The top five are:

  • Messier-Bugatti-Dowty, a French-owned producer of aircraft wheels and carbon brakes, will invest more than $100 million and create about 80 jobs as it expands its facility in northern Kentucky.
  • India’s Piramal Pharma Solutions plans a $10 million, 40-job expansion of its Coldstream Laboratories in Lexington, which produces injectable pharmaceuticals.
  • TMM, a subsidiary of Japan’s Toyo Tire & Rubber Co., announced a $5.6 million investment with 42 jobs in Simpson County to produce stamped and welded components.
  • French-owned cosmetics maker L’Oreal announced it will invest $5.2 million in its northern Kentucky distribution center.
  • Luxembourg-based Eurofins MWG Operon Inc., a provider of genomic products and services including DNA/RNA synthesis and DNA sequencing, opened a $12.5 million, 130 employee facility in Louisville in March and announced it will invest an additional $1 million in the location.

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