The Shandong Ruyi Technology Group (Ruyi), Chinese textile giant headquartered in Shandong Province, China, plans to open its first North American factory for cotton yarn in Forrest City, Arkansas.
Ruyi will invest $410 million to renovate a former Sanyo manufacturing centre in the city to spin more than 200,000 tonnes of Arkansas cotton annually into yarn. The textile giant is scheduled to open in mid-2018. The new unit will create 800 jobs.
Ruyi is the third company from Chinaâ€™s Shandong province after Sun Paper and Pet Won Pet Products to announce plans to locate operations in Arkansas.
According to a report by the Bureau of International Information Programs of the US Department of State, Arkansas is the fifth-largest cotton producing US state and Ruyi is likely to absorb almost all the cotton produced annually by Arkansas.
Kay Brockwell, the cityâ€™s economic development consultant said that Forrest Cityâ€™s East Arkansas Community College will help train new factory hires. Hence, Ruyi will have an initial workforce as well as a long-term source of skilled workers.
According to Mike Preston, director of the Arkansas Economic Development Commission, Ruyiâ€™s decision means â€œthe largest single job-creation announcement in the history of the Arkansas Deltaâ€ region.
This project is tremendously important to Forrest City and St. Francis County not just for the great jobs it brings to their region, but also for the value to the cash crop on which the Arkansas Delta economy has been based for more than 100 years. Their cotton already goes around the world to clothe people, and now their growers will have the security of a market for their crop right here at home.
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