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Mississippi Hopes to Expand Trade Relations with Japan

By Evelina Burnett | Published 18 Nov 2013 09:14pm | comments
The opening session of the 36th annual Southeast U.S-Japan joint meeting, held in Biloxi.

Japan is the largest source of direct foreign investment in Mississippi. 37 Japanese companies have manufacturing or distribution facilities in Mississippi.

As MPB’s Evelina Burnett reports -- state leaders hope to grow that trade relationship.

Mississippi exported $213 million in products and services to Japan last year. That’s a 52 percent increase from the year before.

Speaking at the Southeast US-Japan joint meeting, held this week in Biloxi, Governor Phil Bryant said the state wants to continue building on its recent successes.

The governor joined leaders from seven Southeastern states, including Florida and Tennessee. There was some friendly teasing about whose state is really the birthplace of American music – a moniker Mississippi has claimed – but attracting foreign investment is a serious – and competitive – business.

Just over 450 Japanese and American business and government leaders are at this year's meeting. Japan’s ambassador to the U.S., Kenichiro Sasae says he's seen the close relationship – economic and personal -- between Japan and the region.

More than 8,000 people are employed in Japanese-owned manufacturing and distribution facilities in Mississippi.

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The opening session of the 36th annual Southeast U.S-Japan joint meeting, held in Biloxi.


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