Kentucky Is a Global Business Center
Area Development Research Desk (Location USA 2012)
Kentucky remains a leading location for
foreign direct investment. Since January
2010, approximately 30 percent of all
announced new investment resulted from FDI
activity. Today, nearly 400 foreign-owned companies
from almost 30 nations employ more
than 75,000 people in the state.
Companies such as Safetran
Systems (United Kingdom), UFLEX
(India), Denyo (Japan), SORD
(Australia), and Linamar (Canada)
have all made recent investments
in the Commonwealth. This
demonstration of confidence in
Kentucky's pro-business climate is
a testament to the state's ability to
aggressively compete globally for
new jobs and investment.
Manufacturers in the Bluegrass State are
having great success and their numbers are
growing. Fifty-eight percent of those surveyed
by the Kentucky Association of
Manufacturers planned to hire between 1
and 19 employees in 2012.
Ford Motor Co. is spending $1.2 billion
to transform its Louisville Assembly Plant
into the company's most-flexible, high-volume
factory in the world, as well as to upgrade
its Kentucky Truck Plant, also located in
Louisville. UFLEX Ltd., based in India, is
investing $180 million in Elizabethtown to build its first manufacturing
facility for its flexible film products.
German-owned ZF Steering Systems is also growing in a big
way in Northern Kentucky, investing $95.8 million and creating
374 new jobs, while Hitachi Automotive Systems Americas just
announced it will begin production of lithium-ion battery packs in
Harrodsburg and open a third Kentucky facility in Berea, bringing
its new investment total to $154.5 million since 2009.
Large on Logistics
In addition to its manufacturing strength, Kentucky is a logistical
paradise. The state is
located within 600 kilometers
of 65 percent of the
American population. Two
international airports and two
top air cargo hubs (UPS and
DHL) helped rank Kentucky
third in total air cargo shipments
in 2010. Kentucky
also has 90,000 miles of navigable
rivers, major rail and
river ports, five interstates,
and nine major highways.
Kentucky is home to a variety of corporate headquarters,
including YUM! Brands (KFC and Pizza Hut), Lexmark,
Humana, Tempur-Pedic®, and Toyota Motor Engineering and
Manufacturing North America.
While some started in Kentucky, others have relocated to
the state for its favorable business climate, low energy costs,
progressive incentive programs, highly skilled and educated
work force, significant logistical and geographic advantages,
and superior quality of life.
Florida Tile, a fully owned subsidiary of Italy's Panariagroup,
relocated its headquarters to Lexington, gaining an advantage by
being near its existing manufacturing and distribution operations
in Lawrenceburg. Korean-based Arcron Systems, which manufactures
medical IT technology, will soon establish its North
American headquarters in Northern Kentucky.
Many of Kentucky's successes have been possible because
of the state's new and revised tax incentive programs for companies
that locate, expand, or reinvest in the state. Since July
2009, hundreds of companies received approval through these
programs and are implementing or considering investments
totaling nearly $4 billion across Kentucky, with the potential to
create or retain more than 30,000 jobs.
Companies looking for low business costs, competitive
incentive programs, a central location, and an excellent quality
of life will discover that Kentucky also offers the "can-do" work
force and business environment that they need to succeed.