Today, Gov. John Bel Edwards and Shell Chemical LP officials joined the Organization for International Investment to highlight the contributions of foreign-owned companies doing business in Louisiana. As part of a ceremony highlighting Foreign Direct Investment, or FDI, activity in the state, Gov. Edwards signed an Open Investment Policy statement welcoming such project and equity investments in Louisiana.
Since 2003, more than 145 projects have produced $42.9 billion in FDI capital investment in Louisiana. That track record ranks No. 4 overall in the U.S., and Louisiana’s average of $296 million per project ranks No. 1 in the U.S. In the past decade, all FDI project and equity investments of more than $60 billion rank Louisiana No. 1 per capita among the U.S. states.
Shell, which is completing a more than $717 million linear alpha olefins expansion at its Geismar, Louisiana, site, paid more than $201 million in state and local taxes in 2016 and supports thousands of jobs at its manufacturing, refinery, deepwater oil and gas and other downstream locations. Shell is a member of the Organization for International Investment, a nonprofit business group based in Washington, D.C., that represents many of the world’s leading international companies in the United States that are responsible for millions of U.S. jobs.
“We are so proud of all Louisiana employers who contribute to our economy every day, but this is a special opportunity to recognize the great contributions that foreign-owned companies make in Louisiana,” Gov. Edwards said. “FDI operations — from Shell and BASF, to Shintech and Sasol, to Benteler and Dyno Nobel — have pumped many billions of dollars in capital projects alone into our economy in recent years. They are among the 500 foreign-owned companies operating in Louisiana are directly responsible for 74,300 jobs in our state. In an era of increasing globalization, it’s essential for us to show leadership and support of foreign direct investment in Louisiana in a positive, open and fair manner.”
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Based in The Hague in the Netherlands, Royal Dutch Shell is a British-Dutch international energy company that’s among the Top 20 largest corporations in the world. Shell has operated in Louisiana for more than a century, with its Deepwater Gulf of Mexico oil and gas operations based at the One Shell Square corporate center in New Orleans. The company also has refineries in St. Charles and St. James Parish, a chemical manufacturing site in Ascension Parish, a catalyst production facility in West Baton Rouge Parish, and a world-class offshore training facility in Tangipahoa Parish, among other operations.
“We were honored to host Governor Edwards today as he issued his Open Investment Policy statement,” said General Manager Rhoman Hardy of Shell Chemical’s Geismar facility. “With more than 100 years of history in Louisiana and over 7,000 employees and retirees in the state, Shell is committed to the communities where we operate, through both financial and social investments.”
Gov. Edwards is the seventh governor to issue a formal Open Investment Policy statement in conjunction with efforts by the Organization for International Investment, or OFII. Additional policy statements in support of FDI activity in the U.S. are being advanced by the Governor’s peers in New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Kentucky, Arkansas and Michigan.
“Governor Edwards’ declaration sets Louisiana apart from other states in attracting job-creating foreign direct investment,” said OFII Vice President Jonathan Samford. “His proclamation today reaffirms the state’s reputation as being ‘open for business’ and furthers the governor’s efforts in creating high-quality job opportunities. Governor Edwards understands that Louisiana can compete and win in the international economy.”
The Louisiana policy statement acknowledges the importance of international investment for U.S. economic growth and sends a clear signal to international firms that Louisiana welcomes their job-creating investment.