Keer Group announced on Monday that it will build a 230,000-square-foot manufacturing facility in Indian Land, S.C. to produce industrial cotton yarn. The company’s $218 million investment is expected to create 501 jobs within five years.
“We chose to locate our first U.S. facility in South Carolina for a number of reasons, which include the state’s workforce, proximity to cotton producers and access to the port,” said Zhu Shan Qing, chairman of Keer Group.
South Carolina leads the U.S. in foreign-affiliated job recruitment per capita according to IBM’s Global Location Trends report, and Chinese firms in particular represent an important and growing part of the state’s business community.
From 2011 to 2013, China was the fourth highest nation in foreign-direct investment to South Carolina, behind Germany, Japan and France. In 2012, a record export year for the state with $25.3 billion in goods exported, China ranked third globally in receiving product from South Carolina.
“Foreign-owned companies employ more than 100,000 South Carolinians today and are located in nearly every county,” said Secretary of Commerce Bobby Hitt. "China represents an opportunity to continue that growth trend.”
The state’s logistics capabilities was an important driver of the company’s decision, and yarn produced in Keer’s facility will be exported in containers to China via the Port of Charleston.
Chairman Zhu added that South Carolina’s China Office played an important role in introducing the company to the state.
“Through Mr. Ling Xinwei (John Ling) from the South Carolina Department of Commerce China Office, we became introduced to South Carolina’s capabilities and assets, which helped make this project a reality,” Zhu said.