Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes this week met with Chinese Embassy officials to continue to cultivate the economic and cultural relationship between Kentucky and the People’s Republic of China. Grimes is Kentucky’s chief business official.
“As Secretary of State, I look for every opportunity to help grow Kentucky’s economy and further develop connections for our state and its businesses,” Grimes said. “Kentucky’s trading relationship with China is strong and continues to grow because of the many factors that make our state a great place to do business. I am hopeful that with continued dialogue we will see even more investment in the commonwealth.”
China is the commonwealth’s 4th largest export partner with more than $1.9 billion of Kentucky exports in 2015, a growth of more than 16 percent year over year.
Grimes traveled to China in 2015 to provide information about Kentucky, its business climate and economic development opportunities in the state as part of a delegation coordinated and funded by the Chinese People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries.
During the week-long trip, Grimes spent time in several cities and met with various government and business officials. Numerous Kentucky companies, including Lexmark, KFC/Yum! Brands, Brown Forman, and Ashland Oil, have offices in China.
Grimes has also made visits to Birtley Industrial Equipment Corporation’s headquarters in Lexington and offices in China. Birtley, a manufacturer of advanced coal preparation products, was the first Chinese manufacturer to locate in Kentucky, investing approximately $10 million and creating as many as 50 new full-time jobs.
“Encouraging businesses to make Kentucky their home is vital to growing jobs and opportunity in our commonwealth,” said Grimes. “There are also many opportunities for Kentucky businesses to do business abroad, further growing Kentucky’s economy, and I am committed to helping build relationships with other countries to provide the foundation for those investments.”