Lynn Sowards Zellen
Director of Communications
Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes
Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes is working to advance Kentucky’s economic development efforts by providing information about Kentucky, its business climate and economic development opportunities in the state as part of a delegation traveling to China. Grimes is one of five secretaries of state selected to participate, and the trip is being coordinated and completely funded by the Chinese People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries.
“Already in my tenure, more than 100,000 new businesses have started up in Kentucky,” said Grimes, whose office oversees all businesses operating in the Commonwealth. “I’m excited and honored to have this unique opportunity to share the advantages Kentucky has to offer to new and expanding businesses.”
During the week-long trip that began May 30, the delegation will spend time in several cities in China and meet with various government and business officials. China ranks as the Commonwealth’s 5th largest export partner, with more than $1.6 billion of Kentucky exports in 2014. The aerospace industry accounted for more than 40% of total Kentucky exports to China last year.
Numerous Kentucky companies, including Lexmark, KFC/Yum! Brands, Brown Forman, and Ashland Oil, have offices in China. Ahead of the trip, Grimes visited Birtley Industrial Equipment Corporation’s Lexington headquarters. 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.
“Since taking office in 2012, I’ve worked with our General Assembly to update our laws and expanded our online business services so that Kentucky truly is open for business,” said Grimes. “Encouraging businesses to make Kentucky their home and growing our economy is the next step.”