BATON ROUGE, Louisiana (AP) -- Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal plans to travel to Asia for a week, seeking to cultivate business development and trade connections in Japan, South Korea and Taiwan.
The Republican governor said he and Economic Development Secretary Stephen Moret will meet with representatives of 10 companies, along with senior government officials and others to discuss expanding economic ties between Louisiana and the countries.
"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," Jindal told the Baton Rouge Press Club on Wednesday in announcing his plans.
They'll leave Saturday. This is the governor's first overseas economic development mission during his six years in office.
On the list for meetings are corporate executives in the energy, chemical and manufacturing industries. Jindal said that includes companies already doing business in Louisiana, like Formosa and Shintech, and companies that the state is actively recruiting for projects in the state.
The governor said the state wants to build on its attraction of more than $26 billion in investment from foreign companies in Louisiana projects since he's taken office in 2008.
"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," he said.
Jindal said countries like Japan and South Korea are expected to be among the largest drivers of foreign investment in the United States in the next few years. He said corporate executives in Asian nations place great value on developing personal relationships with government leaders when choosing investment sites.
"With a global economic recovery finally underway, the number of foreign direct investment opportunities is likely to substantially increase," Jindal said. "We want Louisiana to be a leader in that trend of increased investment in the United States."