GOK International, a Chinese furniture assembler, announced plans to locate its sales and headquarters office at Old Belt One in the River District of Danville, and its assembly and showroom operations at the 40,000 square foot Cane Creek Shell Building in Ringgold, VA. The shell building was constructed by Quality Construction in partnership with the Regional Industrial Facility Authority (RIFA) on property owned by RIFA. The Danville Industrial Development Authority is purchasing the building and leasing it to the company.
The company committed to employ 300 people within three years of the start of operations in the region, and it will make capital investments totaling $12,500,000. Employment should begin in earnest early in 2013 with the overall average wage at $30,000. GOK International will specialize in office, hotel, and institutional furniture, using advanced manufacturing techniques to assemble and finish furniture.
The U.S. Federal Government has placed a significant importation tax on Chinese furniture, which has made it more expensive to manufacture and assemble furniture in China for the U.S. market. The anti-dumping law is expected to be a long-term trade policy change with China. GOK International, therefore, will ship furniture components to the U.S. for final assembly to bypass the high import duty.
“We have a very good relationship with Pittsylvania County and Danville, which is important for us in reaching a decision to make our first investment in the U.S. The plant’s location is only an hour and 15 minutes from the vast furniture markets of High Point,” stated GOK International President Kevin Liao.
Mayor Sherman Saunders, chairman of the Danville Pittsylvania County Regional Industrial Facility Authority (RIFA), said, “I have met Kevin and his team over dinner and can say that we have a first class company coming to the region. I am delighted that we can accommodate both their headquarters and assembly space in the City of Danville and Pittsylvania County, which demonstrates the importance of working together as a team under the auspices of RIFA.”
Tim Barber, chairman of the Pittsylvania County Board of Supervisors stated, “We are excited to have a Chinese company agree to create new jobs and invest several million dollars in the region. The assembly jobs are much needed and will help re-employ our work force.”