December 24, 2013
For the last two years, South Carolina has topped the list for attracting investments from foreign companies, and Aiken County is certainly part of that equation.
According to a press release, IBM-Plant Location International released its annual Global Location Trends report, which ranks South Carolina as first in the nation for per-capita employment by foreign-owned firms in 2012. More than 1,200 operations of foreign-owned companies are in the state, and they employ 100,000 South Carolinians, the release reads.
Economic Development Partnership Director Will Williams noted that the Aiken County economy includes Japanese, German, Finnish and United Kingdom investments.
For example, Bridgestone Tire Company was founded by Shojiro Ishibashi in Japan, according to the corporate website. Bridgestone has a plant in Graniteville that’s continuing to grow and create hundreds of new jobs in the Aiken Area.
In fact, Bridgestone announced the single largest capital investment in South Carolina history to date in 2011 in Aiken County. This expansion project represents a $1.2 billion investment and is estimated to create more than 850 jobs.
Tognum, headquartered in Germany, is another example of a foreign company that’s located in Aiken County and one that continues to grow. Tognum produces off-highway engines in a variety of industries, including mining, commercial marine, rail and industrial.
In 2010, Tognum announced a $45 million investment to this area and the creation of 250 new jobs. Tognum later unveiled a new $40 million facility in Sage Mill in April and created 20 new jobs. In August, it announced a $22.5 million expansion and the creation of 10 new jobs.
“Aiken County recognizes and appreciates the global diversity of companies that make up our industrial community,” Williams said. “Our close proximity to the Port of Charleston via road or rail and having 75 percent of the U.S. population less than a 12-hour drive away are some of our selling points for future foreign-direct investment.”