By Terri Jo Neff |
In a move intended to further increase the state’s global competitiveness, two new Arizona Trade Offices are being opened, both in Asian countries.
The Arizona Commerce Authority currently has trade and investment offices in Tel Aviv, Israel and Frankfurt, Germany, as well as three in Mexico (Chihuahua, Guanajuato, and Mexico City). The new offices will be located in Taipei, Taiwan and Seoul, South Korea, and will serve as a platform to further accelerate economic collaboration.
The recent announcement of the new endeavors was made in conjunction with Gov. Katie Hobbs’ International State of the State address, which highlighted the fact Arizona ranked first in the nation in 2022 in the amount of foreign direct investment (FDI).
According to FDI Markets, Arizona attracted expansion projects in 2022 from 35 international companies last year, representing $31.954 billion in investment. It was the second time in three years that Arizona led the nation for FDI, demonstrating the state’s leading attractiveness for investment from global technology companies.
According to the Arizona Commerce Authority, the state’s FDI total for 2022 was led a $28 billion project announced by Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company, which brought the total of the company’s years-long commitment to construct and operate two facilities in north Phoenix to $40 billion.
Other significant FDI in Arizona last year included Canada-based XNRGY Climate Systems, Taiwan-based Chang Chun Group and Sunlit Chemical, and Switzerland-based Nestle.
Hobbs’ announcement was timed to feature the decision by South Korea-based LG Energy Solution of a four-fold increase to their planned Arizona investment. The company initially planned to invest $1.4 billion—which was included in the 2022 FDI report—before announcing in March its plan to up that to $5.5 billion.
LG Energy is a leading global battery manufacturer and renewable energy company. Its investment decision will support construction of two battery manufacturing facilities in Queen Creek, which industry observers say is the largest single project to date for a stand-alone battery manufacturing facility in North America.
Construction is set to begin this year, with production for cylindrical batteries for EVs (27GWh) and LFP pouch-type batteries for ESS (16GWh) beginning in 2025.
The Arizona Commerce Authority is the state’s leading economic development organization with a streamlined mission to grow and strengthen Arizona’s economy. Its International Trade Program offers Arizona-based companies export services to amplify their trade opportunities in international markets. Services include assistance and trade counseling, getting started, contact facilitation, company background, export leads, educational programs, and more.
The program further provides global exposure to Arizona’s small- and medium-sized companies through coordinated trade missions in various foreign countries. Such relationships lend long-term growth opportunities in global markets and prove critical for companies looking to import or export goods.
International projects in the Arizona Commerce Authority’s project pipeline have seen a 52 percent increase over the last quarter, reflecting a strategic effort to target the expansion of manufacturing and technology sectors. Such sectors traditionally offer higher than average wages for Arizonans.