U.S. Markets close in 2 hrs 6 mins

Ky. gov heads to Europe on latest trade mission

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) -- Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear will leave Saturday for an 11-day European trade mission that will include stops in Germany, Spain and Austria.

Beshear said Friday he intends to promote Kentucky's business-friendly climate to European business leaders and to try to strengthen existing ties with foreign companies already doing business in Kentucky.

European companies now employ nearly 26,000 people in Kentucky. Of the state's more than 400 foreign-owned firms, 170 are European.

Beshear said Kentucky has worked aggressively to attract foreign companies to Kentucky.

Last year, nearly 35 percent of all capital investment and almost 20 percent of new jobs announced in the manufacturing, service and technology industries were in foreign-owned enterprises. So far this year, 10 new foreign-owned companies have announced expansions in Kentucky, most of them automotive related.