Governor Ernie Fletcher’s Communications Office
Governor Fletcher Welcomes Members of the International Stainless Steel Forum to Kentucky
Approximately 120 heads of the world's major stainless steelmaking enterprises join the Governor and First Lady for dinner at the Governor's Mansion
FRANKFORT, Ky. - Governor Ernie Fletcher and First Lady Glenna Fletcher welcomed delegates attending the 2006 International Stainless Steel Forum (ISSF) during a dinner event at the Governor's Mansion this evening. The Forum, which is celebrating its 10th Anniversary in Louisville, has brought together the heads of the world's major stainless steelmaking enterprises and national or regional associations from 19 countries, including Victoriano Muñoz, Chairman and CEO of Acerinox, parent company of Kentucky's own North American Stainless (NAS).
"It is an honor to welcome such distinguished leaders from the world's steelmaking industry," said Governor Fletcher. "I'm delighted the International Stainless Steel Forum Board chose Kentucky to convene its 10th Annual Conference. Not only will this be a tremendous opportunity for international economic development, it will also put Kentucky in the global spotlight."
Governor Fletcher extended an invitation to Victoriano Muñoz, former Chairman of the International Stainless Steel Forum, to host the 2006 Forum in Kentucky during an economic development trip to Europe in the Fall of 2004.
The mission of ISSF is to enable stainless steel producers to meet and discuss common issues, to promote the rapid development of the use of stainless steel worldwide, to increase shareholder value and to give the industry a common proactive international voice.
"We thank Governor Fletcher for inviting the world leaders in our industry to Louisville to discuss important global issues," said Victoriano Muñoz. "We are also delighted to tour the NAS factory in Ghent where Kentuckians have built the finest stainless steel mill in the western hemisphere."
Companies with Kentucky operations attending the conference include Aichi Steel Corporation, Nisshin Steel Co., Ltd., and Sumitomo Metal Mining Co., Ltd. of Japan and Acerinox, S.A. of Spain.
The Forum officially began May 16 and runs through May 20. Outside of conference meetings, the delegation will experience Churchill Downs, tour Ashford Stud Farm in Versailles and visit the North American Stainless facility in Ghent. NAS is the largest Spanish investment in the United States and represents a $1.4 billion investment in Kentucky with more than 1,100 employees.
ISSF, comprised of 56 company and affiliated members in 21 countries representing about 80 percent of the world's stainless steel production, holds its annual conference each year in May. Previous conferences were held in: Seoul, Korea (1997); Madrid, Spain (1998); Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (1999); Yokohama, Japan (2000); Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (2001); Sun City, South Africa (2002); Berlin, Germany (2003); Seoul, Korea (2004); and Helsinki, Finland (2005).
The Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development is the primary state agency in Kentucky responsible for creating new jobs and new investment in the state. New business investment in Kentucky in 2005 totaled more than $1.6 billion with the creation of over 16,700 new jobs. Information on available development sites, workforce training, incentive programs, community profiles, small business development and other resources is available at www.thinkkentucky.com.