Governor Roy Cooper announced that Toyota will serve as the title sponsor for the upcoming Southeast U.S./Japan Annual Joint Meeting (“SEUS/Japan”), an important economic development conference aimed at increasing Japanese investment in North Carolina and the Southeastern United States.  The conference will convene in Charlotte, October 27-29, 2024.

Last fall, Governor Cooper appointed Sean M. Suggs, President of Toyota’s new battery manufacturing plant in Randolph County to serve as chairman of the seven-state association that organizes the conference each year.  North Carolina last hosted the SEUS/Japan Conference in 2008 in Raleigh.

“With 3,775 new jobs announced since just last year, more than 30,000 North Carolinians now work here in our state for Japanese owned companies and that number should go even higher,” said Governor Cooper. “This conference is an important way we build relationships that lead to good paying jobs and I appreciate this commitment from Toyota to strengthen the bonds of friendship between Japan and the entire Southeast.”

The North Carolina Department of Commerce and the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina (EDPNC) are jointly planning the Charlotte SEUS/Japan conference, with support from a state organizing committee of volunteers.

North Carolina is a founding member of the Southeast U.S./Japan Association, created in 1976 to promote trade, investment, understanding and friendship between Japan and member states in the southeastern United States.  North Carolina’s membership is intended to encourage foreign direct investment (FDI) from Japanese companies, as well as strengthen export ties for North Carolina companies selling goods in Japan.

Member states of SEUS/Japan are Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee. SEUS/Japan has a Japanese counterpart, the Japan-U.S. Southeast Association currently led by the Bridgestone Corporation.  The Japanese organization’s membership includes Japan’s top business leaders and government officials.  The annual conference between the two associations is officially known as the Annual Joint Meeting and is held on a rotational basis in Japan and the states of the Southeast.

More information about the 2024 conference is available at NC.gov/seusjapan.  Companies interested in sponsoring the conference can send an email to SEUS_Sponsors@edpnc.com