No Asian Country Invests More Frequently in Louisiana Than Japan

Louisiana has ranked No. 1 in the U.S. in per capita foreign direct investment (FDI) since 2008, and Japanese companies have played a large part in this achievement. Japan is a top investor in Louisiana, with over half a dozen since 2003 accounting for over $3.1 billion in capital expenditure and over 3,400 jobs. 

Notable Japanese Projects in Louisiana 

Shintech Inc.
In April 2012, Shintech Inc. announced a $120 million investment by SE Tylose to build a hydroxyethyl cellulose, or HEC, plant at Shintech Louisiana's Plaquemine site. SE Tylose, a subsidiary of Shin-Etsu Chemical Co. Ltd. of Japan and sister company of Shintech, will produce HEC for latex paints that will create water-soluble coatings, adjust viscosity, improve adhesiveness, and prevent sedimentation of the colorants. The plant is expected to produce 9,000 tons of HEC annually and result in another 292 indirect jobs.

Denka Performance Elastomer
In November 2015 Denka Performance Elastomer announced its decision to build a new corporate headquarters in LaPlace, Louisiana. The project will create 16 new corporate executive jobs with an average annual salary estimated by Louisiana Economic Development at $80,000, plus benefits. LED also estimates the project will result in another 81 new indirect jobs, for a total of nearly 100 new jobs in the greater New Orleans area and the Southeast Region of Louisiana. The company will also retain 235 existing manufacturing jobs associated with the Pontchartrain Works production site in LaPlace. Material produced at the LaPlace site finds use in such consumer products as wetsuits, orthopedic braces, adhesives, electrical insulation and coatings. To secure the project, the State of Louisiana offered the company a competitive incentive package that includes the comprehensive workforce solutions LED FastStart®. The company is also expected to utilize Louisiana’s Quality Jobs Program. 

“We’ve experienced great success in Louisiana and the Capital Region, and we have every confidence that the outstanding business climate and quality infrastructure in Louisiana will only lead to greater outcomes for Shintech, for SE Tylose, and for our state and local partners.” 

David Wise
Vice President, Shintech Inc.

Japan - Louisiana Trade

Japan stands as Louisiana’s fifth-largest export market, with $2.4 billion in exports in 2015. In exports to Japan, Louisiana is No. 1 in cereals, No. 1 in grains and fruits, No. 1 in animal feed, and No. 5 in miscellaneous chemical products. Top Louisiana exports to Japan include agricultural products ($2 billion), chemicals ($161.9 million), and petroleum and coal products ($97.8 million).

Louisiana also imports heavily from Japan: over $402.8 million worth of goods in 2015. Top imports from Japan include organic chemicals ($171.1 million); nuclear reactors, boilers, machinery and mechanical appliances ($40.6); and vehicles ($38.4 million). Louisiana is No. 4 in the U.S. in imports of organic chemicals from Japan. 

Supporting Organizations

Honorary Consul-General for Japan: Donna Fraiche
201 St. Charles Avenue, Suite 3600
New Orleans, Louisiana 70170
Tel: 504.566.5201
Email: ddfraiche@aol.com

Japan Society of New Orleans
The Japan Society of New Orleans was founded in 1928 to foster friendly relationships with Japan through the study of Japanese art and culture and the exchange of social and trade contacts between the two countries. Learn more here.

Japanese Horticulture in Louisiana
Several Japanese horticultural groups exist throughout the state, including two chapters of Ikebana International, the Greater New Orleans Bonsai Society and the Japanese Garden Foundation of New Orleans. Learn more here.

Other Japanese-focused supporting organization in Louisiana include the New Orleans Haiku Society, the New Orleans Zen Temple and the Greater New Orleans Suzuki Forum.

Quality of Life, Arts and Culture

The Japanese Weekend School of New Orleans
The Japanese Weekend School of New Orleans is a Japanese language school for children living in the surrounding area and New Orleans. On Saturday mornings, children from 3 to 15 years old receive instruction in accordance with the curriculum of the Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports. Learn more here.

Japan Fest

Japan Fest is an annual celebration of Japanese culture featuring live music, food, dancing, fashion shows, guided Japanese art tours, martial arts demonstrations, and more. 

Asian Heritage Festival
The Asian Heritage Festival features music indigenous to Asian nations, accompanied by graceful dancers in kimonos and other colorful attire, along with ethnic foods and intricate, imaginative handicrafts. Learn more here.