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Chemical Industry in Ohio is Driving Engine for many Added Value Chains

25.11.2017 -

Integrated circuits, construction materials, medicine, home entertainment, and solar panels, automotive, aerospace, and sports equipment: The chemical industry is key for many B2B and consumer products. It is starting point as well as driving engine for many added value chains of emerging as well as developed economies. From a global perspective, the US as the largest single economy in the world plays a vital role as a market place for production, processing and consumption of goods.

The economic performance in the USA is expected to increase by 2.8 % per year between 2011 and 2030, chemical production even by as much as 3.3 % - growing more dynamically than in other industrial countries and also more strongly than in the European Union. This strengthens the leading position of the USA as the world’s largest economy, also in attracting foreign investors who recognize opportunities to expand their businesses.

Leading Investment Location

The state of Ohio is the no. 1 US location for plastics and rubber product manufacturing. In an area only 1.5 the size of Ireland, Ohio has gathered the largest number of chemical enterprises within the USA, totaling 1,800. Enterprises in Ohio benefit from the state’s strategic location in the heartland of the heavily industrialized Midwest. Ohio has been attracting businesses and employees for years due to one of the top five business climates in the entire US, a versatile economic environment, talents and human resources, and affordable cost of living.

“Low taxes, the lowest in the Midwestern US for new manufacturing capital investment, and strategic logistics options keep the cost of doing business in the state low,” says Glenn Richardson, Managing Director for Advanced Manufacturing and Aerospace of JobsOhio, the state of Ohio’s private economic development corporation. JobsOhio facilitates market access for foreign enterprises. As a non-profit organization, it supports them in finding a location, establishes contacts to local banks, legal advisors and tax consultants and gives access to incentive programs.

Key Industries Plastics and Rubber

As a key player not only in plastics and rubber industries with nearly 70,000 people employed, Ohio is ranked a nation-wide leader in hosting related key manufacturing industries such as advanced manufacturing with 690,000 workforce, automotive sector with a workforce of 110,000, and the aerospace industry being the nation’s no. 1 supplier for Airbus and Boeing.

Due to the state’s stable economic base, its longstanding European heritage and central location, European companies have more than 2,000 establishments in Ohio. From chemical industry for example, there are world-famous companies like Goodyear, Parker Hannifin, PolyOne, BASF, Henkel, and Omnova. Glenn Richardson: “As the seventh most populous state in the US, Ohio has a labor force of 5.7 million and more than 200 higher education institutions.”

Opportunities for Enterprises

A few of the future-oriented new developments are smart mobility applications, such as “Smart Columbus”, a milestone project which explores in Ohio’s capital various smart mobility technologies covering innovative logistics, pedestrians, public transport and private car solutions.

Ohio is home to the TRC, the largest independent automotive proving ground in the USA. Its new 451-acre SMART (Smart Mobility Advanced Research and Test) Center tests new technologies and highly automated vehicles on high-speed intersection, roundabouts, traffic signals, an urban network of intersections, and a rural network including wooded roads.

A third example of advanced innovation is carbon-fiber-reinforced plastics. Its entire value chain can be found in Ohio - from the raw material, via production, composites and end use, including access to low-priced energy and production infrastructure. The basic material carbon fiber revolutionizes light-weight construction and has two-digit growth rates. At present, automotive and aircraft applications are the most well-known.

Glenn Richardson: “With the industries and research in the surrounding area and the highly industrialized Midwest nearby, enterprises in Ohio are well-positioned also for the future.”