Executives from the Baton Rouge Area Chamber and GNO Inc. are spending the week together in Germany on a joint recruiting trip, which the groups say is an example of regional cooperation that would have been unthinkable a decade ago. The team, which also includes representatives from Louisiana Economic Development and Entergy Louisiana, are marketing the southeast Louisiana chemical corridor to European chemical engineering and processing companies gathered at a week-long trade fair in Frankfort called ACHEMA.
“We have a lot to offer here to attract companies to the Gulf Coast,” BRAC President and CEO Adam Knapp tells Daily Report from Germany. “This is one of the few times BRAC and GNO are on a recruiting mission together, but we’re trying to promote the Gulf Coast Super Region.”
So far, Knapp says the delegation has been well received as it promotes the Super Region as a premier location for process and chemical engineering industries and investment.
Louisiana remains a top destination for foreign direct investment, with more than $38.5 billion in announced projects since 2008, according to BRAC. Since 2006, companies including BASF, Benteler, and Syngenta have invested more than $1.6 billion in Louisiana. Today, the Gulf Coast Super Region is home to 182 international companies with 831 locations. Ninety-three of those companies represent foreign direct investment by chemical/petrochemical companies.
In the decade since Hurricane Katrina, the business communities of Baton Rouge and New Orleans led by BRAC and GNO Inc. have worked far more closely than in the past, particularly in the development of the Super Region concept. The organizations take joint canvassing trips together around the country and meet regularly. Still, a joint recruiting trip is a noteworthy indicator of how far they have come in their collaborative endeavors.
“We’re more effective when we promote the Super Region together,” Knapp says. “And we all benefit from the positive results.”