Gov. Kay Ivey and a state delegation departed today for Japan as part of an economic development team to meet with auto executives at Toyota, Mazda, and Honda.
According to Ivey, the goal of this trip is to facilitate growth in the state's automotive sector and strenthen ties with the automakers.
In a press relase sent to WAAY 31 from the office of the Gov., Ivey states that "The auto industry has been a key driver of economic growth in Alabama for two decades, and we want to make sure we're positioned to see that growth accelerate in coming years. It’s important that we work closely with these automakers to ensure they thrive in Alabama, because that will bring more jobs and investment to the state.”
This trip comes as the Mazda Toyota Manufacturing USA joint project is moving forward with it's plan to build a $1.6 billion factory in Huntvsille. It is estimated that this venture will add around 4,000 jobs to the local economy.
Alongside Ivey on this trip are, Alabama Department of Commerce Secretary Greg Canfield, Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle, Tennessee Valley Authority CEO Bill Johnson, and presisdent and CEO of the Huntsville Chamber of Commerce Chip Cherry.
Steve Pelham, Governor Ivey’s Chief of Staff, and Hollie Pegg, Assistant Director of Business Development at the Alabama Department of Commerce, will also be included in these meetings.
The Alabama group will visit the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo to meet with Ambassador Bill Hagerty for a discussion expected to center on the current business climate in Japan and unfolding trade developments affecting the two countries.
“Ambassador Hagerty was one of the first people to call me and congratulate Alabama on attracting the Toyota-Mazda investment. This meeting shows the importance that Alabama plays on the world stage and I appreciate the work the Ambassador does on behalf of our nation,” Governor Ivey continued. “I look forward to the meeting and to working with him to continue the strong relationship between Japan and Alabama.”