Photo: Governor Hutchinson signs a spindle that will be used at the new Big River Steel facility in Osceola. He is pictured with Big River Steel Chairman and CEO John Correnti.
Today, Gov. Asa Hutchinson visited Dusseldorf, Germany, where he attended the METEC Trade Fair as part of his European economic-development trip.
Hutchinson met with several companies that are interested in North American expansion.
Earlier in this week, the governor attended the Paris Air Show, where he met with leaders in the aerospace industry. Read our story here.
Held every four years, METEC is a steel-industry event. More than 486 exhibitors from 33 countries and more than 19,000 visitors attended the 2011 fair.
At METEC, Hutchinson plans to make contacts in Arkansas’ growing metals sector, specifically the steel industry.
“Our time in Germany allows us to meet with German companies that already have a presence in Arkansas to thank them for their investment in our state,” Hutchinson said in a news release. “We have also built new relationships with a variety of steel companies through our participation at the METEC Trade Fair. The work will continue when we return to Arkansas as we now have many new contacts to follow up with in the aerospace and steel sectors.”
Mississippi County is the third-largest steel producing county in the nation. Job growth in Arkansas’s steel sector has increased by 39 percent since 2009.
There are 24 German-owned companies with 39 locations in Arkansas, and these companies employ more than 1,700 Arkansans in the automotive parts, power tools, plastics and steel industries.
Hutchinson leaves Germany June 19 to return to Little Rock.