Of the 48 mainland states, Texas stands out as the most attractive location to Japanese investors. According to outgoing Consul General of Japan in Houston Tetsuro Amano, “The growth rate of Japanese investment is faster in Texas than in any other state in the U.S.”
Among the most important factors that sway Japanese investors to relocate to Texas are its very low corporate tax rates, which can go as low as zero, its strategic location and its highly skilled workforce.
“Japanese companies eye the Houston and Dallas metropolitan areas as a place to establish their Americas headquarters because of the state’s proximity to growth markets, like Mexico and other countries in Latin America,” Amano said.
The decision of Japanese giants Toyota North America, Kubota Tractor Corporation USA and Daikin America to move to Texas further cements the state’s reputation as a place that can both provide and sustain scale and talent.
Aside from opening its Tundra pick up truck manufacturing plant in San Antonio, Toyota North America established its new administrative headquarters in Plano. Meanwhile, Daikin America operates America’s second-largest HVAC factory just north of Houston, and Kubota invested $50 million to relocate to the city of Grapevine near Dallas. The new operation employs more than 4,500 people in the area.
Aside from the state’s traditional strength as an oil and gas rich economy, Texas now boasts of massive biotechnology and life science and IT sectors.
“Japanese companies operating in the life sciences will find a good partner in Texas,” Amano pointed out.
The consul general anticipates more Japanese companies heading to Texas in the next two to three years. “These would be Tier 1 and Tier 2 companies that see the benefit of being close to their customers and see Texas as a knowledge and technology hub,” he said.
“Japan and Texas already share strong economic ties, starting from Japanese investments in manufacturing, chemicals and the energy sectors. But the future holds more potential for growth. The relationship between Japan and Texas is quickly evolving, which opens opportunities for companies big and small who are interested in innovation and new ideas,” he also said.