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Tuesday, October 28, 2008



Governor Haley Barbour keynotes U.S.-China-Japan Automotive Conference


(CHICAGO) – Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour keynoted the first U.S.-China-Japan Automotive Conference here today, focusing on auto industry globalization, foreign investment and why American businesses should seek partnerships with Asian companies.


Speaking on an agenda that included representatives from the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago; Toyota Motor Corporation; BP Corporation; Ford Customer Service; two Fortune 500 parts suppliers, Arvin and Borg Warner; and the Director General, Nanjing Automotive Industry Development Office, Governor Barbour outlined the state’s experience in working with Chinese, Japanese and other foreign-based companies. Of particular interest to attendees was Mississippi’s growing automotive industry with companies like Nissan already operating in the state, and Toyota’s eighth North American manufacturing plant and PACCAR’s diesel engine plant both under construction.


“At a time when all industries, not just automotive, are looking for fresh ideas and best practices to remain competitive Mississippi has a relevant message to share. It is important the lines of communication remain open for huge mutual opportunities, so it was an honor to talk about Mississippi with attendees representing the U.S.- China Chamber of Commerce and the Japan America Society of Chicago at this conference,” Governor Barbour said.


The conference, chaired by Siva Yam, President, U.S - China Chamber of Commerce; Dennis Cuneo, Senior Advisor, Toyota Motor; and Edward Grant, President, Japan America Society of Chicago was the first of its kind and important in its timing. As U.S. and Japanese automotive industries are slowing down, China’s automotive industry continues to expand rapidly.


“This conference helps expose attendees to the opportunities that exist for new technologies, export opportunities, and a solid overview of the automotive market in China,” said Cuneo, Toyota Senior Advisor and conference co-chair. “This is one of the few occasions where executives and government officials will meet to speak about timely issues in the automotive industry.”



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