Newberry County Councilman Les Hipp, County Administrator Wayne Adams and Economic Development Director Teresa Powers will be a part of a 40 member group from South Carolina that will leave today for Japan and Korea. While there the group will visit the headquarters of two of the county’s largest employers.
The delegation will also include S.C. Governor Nikki Haley and others from around the state.
Those attending will take part in a Tokyo conference and marketing trip aimed at attracting manufacturing and technology investment to the state.
The group will also visit headquarters of Komatsu and Kiswire, which are two major employees in Newberry County.
“Eighty percent of industrial growth come from existing industry,” says Hipp, who is the chair of the county’s economic development committee. “And major companies like Komatsu and Kiswire can chose to make those additional investments in any number of locations. It is in our interest for them to know that Newberry County is interested in the growth of their companies.”
“Because these companies have facilities in Newberry County, we have the good fortune of access to their officials,” said Powers. “We can’t afford to waste that advantage.
The cost for the three Newberry County trio to take the trip is about $5,000 each.
“A practical estimate for the entire trip is about $15,000, total. That’s a significant amount, but relatively small compared to what our Asia-based industries pay in property taxes. More to the point, it’s a small amount relative to the future investment we’d like to see them make in Newberry County,” said Adams. “It’s still a big world, which makes it difficult to forge relationships with corporate decision makers abroad, and betting we can email or Facebook Newberry County into foreign companies’ future expansion plans is just not a sufficient strategy.”
The Southeast U.S.- Japan Conference is an annual event that focuses on building business and government relations between Japan and member states.
The conference was last held in 2002 in South Carolina and returns to the state in 2017.
The group will return to Newberry County on Sunday.