With a population of more than five million, Alabama is becoming a thriving center of business, thanks a deep pool of highly skilled workers, its low cost of living, and high quality of life. In the last few years, the state has stepped up efforts to attract more foreign investment, particularly from Japan.
Already home to familiar Japanese brands, like Toyota, Mazda, Nissan, Mitsubishi, Honda, and Daikin, Alabama is keen to add to its roster of Japan-based companies and diversify its profile beyond the automotive sector.
“We certainly believe that reinvestments and new investments continue to pour into the sector with the increase in electric vehicles and the related technological changes that are coming,” Alabama Department of Commerce Secretary Greg Canfield told GMI POST.
According to Canfield, new businesses in Alabama should be focused on metals and advanced materials as they have a lot to do with the automotive sector, as well as with the aerospace sector, where the U.S. and Japan already have a thriving partnership.
“Alabama's strategic strength in space and aerospace presents itself as a potential opportunity for Japanese companies looking to expand their footprint in the U.S. We plan to spend some effort in that regard as well. We believe that it's time for us to work closely with our Japanese partners to capture some of their knowledge base,” he said.
Because of the presence of leading research universities, Alabama can become a secondary market for product development.
“I certainly think that Alabama and Japan have proven themselves to be great partners. Our workforce has learned a lot from our Japanese partners in terms of operating efficiently, focusing on quality, and challenging our operations,” Canfield said.