Arkansas: A Natural for Business
“The Natural State” is both a motto and a business strategy. Centrally located in the Mid-South U.S., the reasons for foreign companies to locate in Arkansas are multifold. In 2013, 38 German companies, among them many large corporations, were operating their businesses in Arkansas. In addition to low market entry costs, extensive transportation networks low-cost utility infrastructure, and an aggressive pro-business stance have attracted many international and German companies. The workforce advantages are that skilled, well-trained manufacturing initiatives are well connected with institutions of higher education across several industries.
Arkansas also offers many business and tax incentives to spur companies’ growth.
The quality of life is often described as comfortable and amiable. Many rivers, mountain ranges and hilltops make up the state’s natural environment that is only outrivaled by the perfect economic environment. Six Fortune 500 companies call the state their home. For instance, Arkansas-based Walmart was included among Fortune's Most Admired companies in 2012, and an economic report states that Arkansas has the fourth lowest cost of doing business in the nation (CNBC 2013).
Four main airports, dozens of regional airports, and eight Interstates that connect the state make up the infrastructure network. Arkansas is rich in natural resources (bauxite, coal, kerosene, natural gas) and timber. The cultivation of soybeans, rice, fruits, wheat and cotton has long shaped the cultural and economic identity of the state. However, the diversification of industries and markets, the advent of foreign investment in the state, and lastly, the transition to modern manufacturing, clean energy production and several green incentives have all brought higher-paying and knowledge-based jobs to Arkansas.