The Columbia World Affairs Council is pleased to announce that South Carolina Governor Nikki R. Haley will receive the 2016 Global Vision Award. She will be honored at a black-tie gala at the Columbia Marriott on Wednesday, November 30, 2016. This is the 23rd year the Columbia World Affairs Council has presented the award to a leader whose contributions have made a significant impact on South Carolina to help project the state globally.
“Governor Haley has been an outstanding leader in connecting South Carolina to the global economy,” says Columbia World Affairs Council Board of Directors Chair Bob Coble. “Her record for recruiting investment into South Carolina from the world is second to none.”
In 2011, Haley became both the first female and Indian-American governor of South Carolina. Born in Bamberg, South Carolina to Sikh immigrant parents, she is a graduate of Clemson University and represented Lexington County in the South Carolina House of Representatives from 2005 to 2011. Since 2011, the state has announced more than 80,000 jobs in 45 of 46 counties, and South Carolina’s unemployment rate has hit a 15 year record low.
Meanwhile, Gov. Haley has enhanced South Carolina’s global image and presence. Her deft and compassionate reactions to the shootings at the Mother Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, the removal of the Confederate flag from the State House grounds, as well as her leadership in response to the devastating floods last October, have been watched globally and with acclaim.
Gov. Haley also has made considerable contributions to expanding the state’s international engagement and economic development. With job creation and foreign investment a hallmark of her service, Gov. Haley’s readiness to do business has been integral in making South Carolina home to global corporations, totaling billions of dollars in capital investment and adding thousands of good-paying jobs to the state’s workforce, which is now at record levels.
In 2014, Toray Industries, Inc., a Tokyo-based manufacturer of fibers and textiles, plastic resins, films, and carbon fiber composite materials, settled on a new production facility in Spartanburg County. Toray is the world’s largest producer of carbon fiber, which has applications ranging from golf clubs to Boeing jets to natural gas pressure vessels. Its $1 billion investment was the largest initial investment announced in the state’s economic development history. Also in 2014, GITI Tire of Singapore announced a $560 million production plant in Chester County. With the German-based Continental Tire and GITI Tire (in addition to Michelin of France and Bridgestone of Japan) investment under Gov. Haley, South Carolina now produces and exports more tires than any state in the nation.
And last year, both Mercedes-Benz and Volvo announced the establishment of new, major manufacturing plants in South Carolina, each of which will be in excess of $500 million.
Mercedes-Benz Vans, a division of Daimler, will open a new, full van manufacturing operation in North Charleston. While the company has operated its current van assembly facility in Charleston County since 2006, the new plant, which will produce the next-generation Sprinter, will bring a $500 million investment and 1,300 new jobs. The Mercedes-Benz Sprinter is the world’s leading large van, and more than 2.8 million Sprinters have been delivered to customers in 130 countries worldwide.
Volvo Cars Corporation chose Berkeley County to build its first manufacturing facility in the Western Hemisphere. The new plant will manufacture latest-generation Volvo models for sale in the United States and for export. The Volvo plant signifies a $500 million investment and 4,000 new jobs in the state.
Earlier this year the Jushi Group of China announced a $300 million investment in Richland County to make fiberglass, an investment that will create 400 jobs.
Currently, according to the South Carolina Department of Commerce, more than 1,200 international firms have facilities in South Carolina, employing more than 100,000 South Carolinians.
The Columbia World Affairs Council was established in 1993 to raise awareness of international activities in the Midlands, help people connect across the region, bring distinguished speakers and foreign diplomats to Columbia to address international issues, and create a bridge to build new international relationships. The Council administers the sister-city program for the City of Columbia and is a member of the Washington-based World Affairs Councils of America and Sister Cities International.
The Global Vision Award was established in 1994, and the first recipient was Gov. Carroll A. Campbell. Last year, the honor went to University of South Carolina President Dr. Harris Pastides. For more information about the Global Vision Award, please visit columbiaworldaffairs.org.