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“It’s exciting to see the progress that West Virginia has made over the past decade. I believe that our Japan partnership is widely regarded as a great success story for the state. Indeed, it seems we witness a new announcement of Japanese investment with each passing month. Our trade missions abroad play an integral role in making this happen.”
Since 1995, Senator Rockefeller has led five foundation-sponsored trade missions to Asia which have resulted in significant investment in our State’s economy. In fact, investment from Japanese companies alone totals more than $2 billion and the number of jobs created is approximately 15,000 (indirect and direct). More importantly, these numbers continue to increase as these companies find success in the State. In 2005 & 2006, NGK Spark Plug and Toyota both celebrated their tenth year in the State, and Diamond Electric recently expanded its facility in Eleanor, making it the company’s largest ignition coil plant. Toyota alone represents the largest industrial investment in our state in the past 50 years.
While the Foundation’s trade missions to Asia have brought significant investment to the State, they have also led to growth for the state’s existing industries by increasing the exporting potential for West Virginia manufacturers. Whether a company is a new or experienced exporter, the Foundation uses its resources and relationships to enhance West Virginia’s business efforts. The Foundation’s overseas missions have resulted in millions of dollars in contracts for West Virginia’s manufacturers.
In 1995, during the Foundation’s first trade mission to Asia, Don Gallion, President & CEO of FCX Systems, Inc., secured its first Asian sale. Today, Asia remains FCX’s largest export market accounting for up to 60% of its sales. This company has participated in three of the Foundation’s overseas missions, and continues to expand its operations in the state currently employing 127 people. FCX currently exports to 70 countries on all seven continents.