Arkansas Is a Growing Gateway to World Trade
Area Development Research Desk (Location USA 2012)
Global recruitment and trade are
key elements of Governor Mike Beebe's
strategic plan for economic development.
The Arkansas Economic Development
Commission (AEDC) is committed
to attracting and retaining the best
companies and the most
advanced industries from around
Arkansas recognizes the
strong, long-term economic
opportunities originating from
Europe and Asia. Together,
European and Asian countries
account for 12 of Arkansas's top 20 trading
partners. AEDC now has an international
team with two in-house project managers
to focus on those regions, along with foreign
offices in China and Japan.
Two key reasons many foreign companies
(more than 100 and counting) locate
and expand in Arkansas are its work force
and superb location. Saint-Gobain, Unilever,
Hino, Welspun, Nordex, Nestlé, and LM
Wind Power all chose Arkansas because
location was critical and a skilled work
force is available. The state's central location
puts any business in excellent position
for transporting goods to both domestic and international
The fact is, Arkansas is the nation's logistical capital and is
a mid-point for North American trade. Its excellent transportation
infrastructure and its ability to provide the work force a
company needs to sustain itself make Arkansas the ideal location
for all companies to consider when deciding where to
Arkansas has a significant amount of international business
activity, and its international presence continues
• Approximately 33,300 workers are
employed by foreign-owned firms.
• More than half of the jobs created by
foreign-owned entities are in manufacturing,
mainly industrial machinery, primary and
fabricated metals, rubber, and plastics.
• Foreign direct investment in Arkansas
is responsible for 3.3 percent of the state's
total private-industry employment.
The AEDC works very closely with both the Arkansas
World Trade Center and the U.S. Export Assistance Center in
Little Rock on export promotion, trade missions, and lead
development. With exports totaling more than $585 million in
2010, the aircraft/aerospace industry represents Arkansas's
top value-added export. More than 9,000 people are employed
in aerospace occupations including aircraft parts and components,
rocketry, air transportation services, aircraft repair and
maintenance, and aircraft refurbishing. Other top exports
include machinery, cereals, organic chemicals, electrical
machinery, meat, plastic, and iron and steel.
Arkansas is home to people with a strong work ethic and
available training for whatever the need. There are 11 four-year
public universities, 22 two-year public colleges, 12 independent
colleges and universities, and three technical
universities/vocational-technical schools located in the state.
But more importantly, what you will find when you are ready to
begin hiring is that the Arkansas Economic Development
Commission (AEDC), working with other state agencies, offers
a Career Readiness Certificate to potential employees. This
helps make certain that the people you interview are qualified
and those you hire have the skills - or can be trained in the
skills - that you need. This greatly increases your return on
your training dollars and efforts.
Find out how your company can find success in Arkansas.