Gov. John Bel Edwards Hails Foreign Investment for Louisiana Economy
GESIMAR – Governor John Bel Edwards today became the first Louisiana governor to issue an Open Investment Policy statement, declaring that foreign direct investment (FDI) benefits Louisianans and pledging to provide fair and equitable treatment to all investors under the law. The governor made the historic announcement on Nov. 3 at Shell Chemicals’ Geismar manufacturing facility.
“Governor Edwards’ declaration sets Louisiana apart from other states in attracting job-creating foreign direct investment,” said Jonathan Samford, vice president of the Organization for International Investment (OFII). “His proclamation today reaffirms the state’s reputation as being ‘open for business’ and furthers the governor’s efforts in creating high-quality job opportunities. Governor Edwards understands that Louisiana can compete and win in the international economy.”
During his remarks in Geismar, Gov. Bel Edwards highlighted why Louisiana is a strong location for international companies to set up operations.
“We are so proud of all Louisiana employers who contribute to our economy every day, but this is a special opportunity to recognize the great contributions that foreign-owned companies make in Louisiana,” Gov. Bel Edwards said. “FDI operations — from Shell and BASF, to Shintech and Sasol, to Benteler and Dyno Nobel — have pumped many billions of dollars in capital projects alone into our economy in recent years. They are among the 500 foreign-owned companies operating in Louisiana that are directly responsible for 74,300 jobs in our state. In an era of increasing globalization, it’s essential for us to show leadership and support of foreign direct investment in Louisiana in a positive, open and fair manner.”
According to the latest U.S. data, international companies like Shell, BASF and Siemens employ 74,300 Louisiana workers, and job growth among these international employers has increased nearly 21 percent in the past five years. Louisiana has received more than $60 billion in FDI since 2008, ranking number one among all states in FDI per capita.
“We were honored to host Governor Edwards today as he issued his Open Investment Policy statement,” said Rhoman Hardy, general manager of the Shell Chemical Geismar facility. “With more than 100 years of history in Louisiana and over 7,000 employees and retirees in the state, Shell is committed to the communities where we operate, through both financial and social investments.”
Per OFII, Gov. Edwards is the seventh governor to issue an Open Investment Policy statement at the state level and the first to issue one in Louisiana history. These statements acknowledge the importance of international investment for U.S. economic growth and provide clear signals to international firms that states welcome their job-creating investment.