Magazine | Business Facilities - Economic Development, Site Selection & Workforce Solutions

From bioscience to alternative energy, a bevy of emerging growth sectors have discovered "there's no place like home" in the Sunflower State.


From bioscience to alternative energy, a bevy of emerging growth sectors have discovered "there's no place like home" in the Sunflower State.

Kansas is Riding an Economic Head Wind

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60 Seconds with Mario Brossi, North American Senior Representative, Switzerland Trade and Investment Promotion

60 Seconds with Mario Brossi, North American Senior Representative, Switzerland Trade and Investment Promotion

Switzerland has surpassed the U.S. as the top-ranked country in the World Economic Forum’s annual Global Competitiveness survey. Mario Brossi, who has dual Swiss and American citizenship, puts this achievement in perspective. BF: What factors enabled Switzerland to surpass the U.S. in the WEF survey? MB: Although Switzerland is proud to be at the top of the table this year, we view this more as a marathon than a sprint, with the U.S. coming in a very close second. Being in the top tier in the long run is what is key, with Switzerland’s long-term economic stability, excellent capacity for innovation and sophisticated business culture making the fundamental difference this year. BF: Switzerland has attracted more than 40 new projects from the U.S. in the past year. Can you give us some examples of the investment criteria that have influenced these location decisions? MB: Parker Hannifin cited a stable and business-friendly government, outstanding infrastructure and a well-educated, highly productive and multilingual workforce combine to provide an excellent environment for our international operations, Ecolab selected the Zurich area because of its consistent ranking as one of the best business locations in the world, as well as the outstanding quality of life [which] will help us attract and retain world-class and diverse talent.” Worldwide HR firm Kelly Services said Switzerland is an ideal base from which to service clients across its EMEA operations, with an excellent transportation infrastructure. BF: Has the Swiss government offered any new incentives and/or tax breaks to lure overseas businesses? MB: Switzerland through its federal and cantonal governments and public/private partnerships has been putting more emphasis on the marketing side, actively promoting the country as a leading business, conference and investment location. For example, the federal promotion effort has now been expanded and merged with the trade promotion activities on behalf of all Swiss FDI-focused enterprises overseas under the name Switzerland Trade and Investment Promotion. However, cantons in Switzerland are reducing their level of corporate and individual taxation BF: Was the top competitiveness ranking the result of a coordinated strategy? MB: Sustainability, innovation, education, research and investment are among the many criteria that our country seeks to improve year and year out. The fact that these jelled this year and that others were more directly affected by market weakness and instability were probably more responsible for the overall outcome than the idea that Switzerland had a mega, overarching strategy to achieve this result. BF: Do you believe Switzerland will maintain its top ranking in coming years? MB: Predicting […]







Texas Corporate Moves

Toyota Moving Tacoma Truck Production to San Antonio Toyota Motor Corp. has announced that it will relocate production of the Tacoma pickup from a plant in California to its manufacturing facility in San Antonio by next summer. San Antonio and Bexar County officials estimate 100,000 Tacomas will be produced annually following a $100 million retooling at Toyota’s San Antonio campus. The Tacoma line will diversify the plant with a second vehicle and as many as 1,100 new jobs to the facility. It will also create new jobs at 21 on-site suppliers. The Japanese automaker has ended its relationship with a joint venture plant in the San Francisco Bay area as part of an effort to reduce excess production capacity. Toyota will stop making vehicles at the New United Motor Manufacturing Inc. plant—its first manufacturing facility in the United States, which started in 1984 as a 50-50 business deal with General Motors—in March 2010. The relocation will return work at the San Antonio plant, which has the capacity to build about 200,000 Tundras annually, back to two shifts for the first time since it shuttered for three months last summer to sell off excess inventory. “This is what we wanted, a dual line to alternate with the Tundras,” a San Antonio Chamber of Commerce official said, according to wire service reports. “We had thought several years ago it might be the Highlander hybrid, but this plant and its workers have the flexibility to keep jobs strong there.” Temporary plant workers who had been laid off in San Antonio or those who applied for Tundra work and didn’t get the job could be first in line for the new positions, Bexar County officials said. Toyota’s decision to end its 25-year relationship with the NUMMI plant, which also produces the Corolla, came nearly two months after GM said it was pulling out of the joint venture. It marks the first time the Japanese automaker has closed a plant, either at home or abroad. In the midst of the current recession Toyota announced the first quarterly losses in its 70-year history earlier this year. San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro said the announcement demonstrates the Texas city’s attractiveness to business looking for a skilled, low-cost workforce. “San Antonio is emerging as an economic powerhouse. This demonstrates the talent of the work force and the low cost of doing business in San Antonio, as well as a high level of public and private cooperation,” he said. The chief executive of the Greater San Antonio Chamber of […]


Ohio Corporate Moves

Amylin Pharmaceuticals Plant Nears Completion in West Chester, OH Amylin Pharmaceuticals is nearing completion on a $400 million manufacturing facility in West Chester, OH that is expected to support at least 500 jobs in the Butler County area. The biotech firm, which is based in San Diego, made a commitment in 2005 to invest in the Ohio facility. Company officials say the eventual footprint of the plant is dependent on the success of a new form of its diabetes treatment BYETTA©. The drug, administered by injection, is awaiting Food and Drug Administration approval. “The manufacturing facility in Ohio is nearing completion. We have made great progress by finalizing the commercial-scale manufacturing process at the facility,” an Amylin spokesperson told Business Facilities. “We are producing and shipping commercial scale material for use in ongoing exenatide (BYETTA)© once weekly clinical studies while we await approval of the drug from the FDA. The eventual footprint of the facility will be determined by the potential of exenatide once weekly, the product that we will manufacture there.” Initially, the project envisioned a 151,000-square-foot biopharma plant costing about $150 million to set up and equip, to be run as a subsidiary of Amylin Ohio LLC. In 2005, Amylin purchased a 26-acre site, including existing buildings, for $9 million. Two years later, the company expanded its plans, purchasing an additional 17 acres for $4.5 million and upping its overall investment in the Ohio facility to $400 million. The first phase of the project began in 2006. Filling and sterilization equipment installation began at the end of last year. Employment at the West Chester plant will be ramped up over a three-year period. “It’s a major, major expansion,” said Butler County Commissioner Michael Fox. “We worked with the state and the county on an incentive package.” West Chester Township trustees also played a role in crafting incentives for the expansion of the Amylin project in 2007. The state of Ohio, via the development arm the Ohio Department of Development, has committed around $117 million in benefits and financial assistance for the new manufacturing facility project, including $30 million provided by Butler County and West Chester Township. Amylin also received a 10 year, 75% tax abatement, an agreement that requires them to reimburse the Lakota school district 100% of the taxes owed, totaling of over $4 million in the long run. Part of the incentive deal is a public-private partnership to meet Amylin’s workforce and research and development needs by creating a partnership with adult career technical schools, community […]