The joint meeting of the Southeast United States-Japan Association and the Japan-United States Southeast Association in Greenville started Monday
The purpose of the closed conference is to discuss investment, trade and tourism between Japan and the seven member states — Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee — from the region.
“Providing us with a unique opportunity to showcase our great state and all that it has to offer, this conference and our participation in the SEUS-Japan Association allow us to continue strengthening relationships with one of South Carolina's top economic partners,” said S.C. Commerce Secretary Bobby Hitt, in a news release.
Since 2011, Japanese-owned firms have announced more than $3.4 billion in capital investment in South Carolina, bringing 3,200 new jobs to the state. And, on top of that, Japan accounted for more than $1.1 billion of South Carolina's export sales total last year, according to the Commerce Department.
Participating in Monday’s opening ceremony were South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster; Hitt; SEUS-Japan Association Chairwoman Minor Shaw; Japan-United States Southeast Association Chairman Teruo Asada; and, James Zumwalt, Sasakawa USA CEO and former United States Ambassador to the Republic of Senegal and the Republic of Guinea Bissau. The heads of delegation from the six other SEUS-Japan member states also participated.