Gov. Bentley leading economic development mission to Japan - Alabamas13.com WVTM-TV Birmingham, AL

Gov. Bentley leading economic development mission to Japan

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MONTGOMERY, AL - Governor Bentley will soon pack his bags and head overseas. 

The state leader is going to Japan on an economic development mission.

The goal? To bring more jobs to Alabama and build relationships with Japanese companies that have already set up shop in Alabama.

The Governor leaves on Sunday.

In his week-long series of meetings, Bentley will talk with several employers to about growth opportunities that will hopefully lead to more jobs for Alabamians.

"Governor Bentley, along with Alabama Secretary of Commerce Greg Canfield and the Department of Commerce's Asian business development expert, Hollie Pegg, will meet with Japanese trade officials, biotech industry representatives, and key executives at Toyota, Honda and other companies with operations in Alabama," according to a news release. "The team will wrap up meetings early Friday, November 15, before returning to Alabama."

"My number-one priority is bringing more jobs to Alabama, and this economic development mission will help us do just that," said Bentley. "The State of Alabama enjoys a strong business relationship with several companies that are based in Japan. Thousands of people in Alabama have a job today thanks to that ongoing relationship. By building on those relationships and by discussing our positive business climate, we can further our goal of recruiting more jobs to Alabama."

"According to the Alabama Department of Commerce, more than 60 Japanese companies already have operations in the state," which is cited in the news release. "Japan also is one of the top five destinations for Alabama-made products, with exports valued at more than $795 million in 2012. Chemicals, minerals, vehicles and metals are among the primary Alabama products shipped to Japan. Governor Bentley's meetings with top executives at Toyota and Honda next week come as the two global automakers continue to expand their Alabama operations. Toyota is in the midst of a $150-million expansion of its Huntsville engine plant, the only location in the world where the automaker produces four-cylinder, V6 and V8 engines. By 2015, Toyota's investment in Alabama will total $850 million."

This will be Bentley's first official trip to Japan.

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