Louisiana State Focus: The Bayou State

Known for its spicy cuisine and spirited celebrations, Louisiana is drawing world-class businesses from a range of industry sectors.

By BF Editors
From the July/August 2022 Issue

Louisiana is often synonymous with seafood — probably because the state produces more than 90% of the crawfish consumed in the country — but this southern state has much more going for it than crustaceans. In addition to seafood, Louisiana is renowned for its diverse culture, unique food, great jazz music, and iconic architecture. Its economy relies heavily on agricultural exports including sugarcane, rice, soybeans, corn, feed grains and sweet potatoes. Poultry, eggs, beef cattle, and dairy products are an important part of the state’s agricultural economy as well.

But Louisiana’s portfolio is quite diverse. The state has the largest concentration of crude oil refineries, natural gas processing plants, and petrochemical production facilities in the Western Hemisphere. Petroleum and coal product manufacturing are its largest industry, accounting for just over 8% of the state’s total GDP of $257 billion. And, telecommunications, healthcare and social assistance, retail, construction, real estate, finance, and insurance are among top industries.

The state has worldwide reach, thanks in part to its extensive ports infrastructure. From the Port of New Orleans to five ports in Southwest Louisiana, anchored by the deepwater park of Lake Charles, Louisiana moves business where it needs to go.

Louisiana economy
(Photo: Adobe Stock / BONNIE C MARQUETTE)

To help companies looking to expand, relocate or start up here Louisiana has an extensive regional network of economic development organizations with the sole purpose of helping businesses succeed. What’s more, the state’s business incentives have proven successful in helping to cultivate economic growth, helping to strengthen its reputation as a pro-business state.

Building For Tomorrow, Today

New and expanding companies are investing in Louisiana—and for good reason. The state’s unique advantages are driving growth across diverse business sectors.

Success often relies on infrastructure and logistics, and Louisiana’s Mississippi River port system, position on the Gulf of Mexico, and central location in the southern U.S. combine to make it a powerful hub of global and domestic commerce. The state also offers quick access to nearby major markets, six interstate highways, six Class 1 railroads, six deep-water ports, and seven primary airports.

Louisiana economy
A hub for global and domestic commerce, Louisiana offers unmatched workforce and cost savings solutions. (Photo: Port of New Orleans)

Louisiana’s location isn’t the only thing keeping it at the forefront of international commerce, however. Louisiana’s highly diversified business sectors, ranging from advanced manufacturing to film production, scales globally on the strength of competitive incentives, low business costs, skilled workers, and customized training supported by higher education partnerships.