AEDC Returns from Trade Mission to Japan

 February 22, 2017

Danny Games, executive vice president of global business for the Arkansas Economic Development Commission, and Mark Hamer, director of AEDC’s business development for Asia, recently returned from a trade mission to Japan.

They met with Neal Jansen, head of Arkansas’ Japan Office, and several Japanese companies with locations in Arkansas including Hino Motors Manufacturing (Marion), Denso Manufacturing, Bridgestone (Russellville and Prescott), Yamato Kogyo (Mississippi County and Newport) and Tokusen (Conway).

Arkansas has had a representative office in Japan since 1985. The Japan Office promotes FDI in Japan, the Republic of South Korea, India and countries in Southeast Asia by visiting potential industry prospects, working with AEDC staff on active projects, organizing investment presentations, and researching and analyzing the recently-evolved Japanese outbound economy to guide a shift in state strategy for automotive, advanced manufacturing, aviation/aerospace, green and sustainable building products and technology recruitment.

Japan plays a significant role in the Arkansas economy. There are 18 Japanese companies with 20 locations in Arkansas employing approximately 5,300 workers. Japanese manufacturers in Arkansas produce heating and refrigeration equipment, steel and automotive parts. In 2015, Japan was Arkansas’ third-largest export destination (behind Canada and Mexico) with $532 million value (about 9.1 percent of Arkansas’ exports).