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China-based manufacturer investing $410M in Arkansas plant; up to 800 new jobs expected

by Brandon Riddle | May 10, 2017 at 2:48 p.m.

A China-based textile company will invest $410 million to revive a facility that has sat vacant for 10 years in eastern Arkansas, officials said Wednesday.

Up to 800 new jobs are expected as part of the new manufacturing plant in Forrest City, which will supply Shandong Ruyi Technology Group of Shandong Province, China, according to a news release.

The company’s chairman, Yafu Qiu, and Gov. Asa Hutchinson made the announcement Wednesday afternoon at the state Capitol in Little Rock.

“From Sun Paper to Pet Won Pet Products to Ruyi, we have established the state as a leader in foreign direct investment from Asia,” Hutchinson said in a statement.

Renovations to the Forrest City building, which has sat empty since the closure of a Sanyo plant in late 2007, are set to begin in late 2017. Production will likely begin by mid-2018.

“Our manufacturing facility in Arkansas will become the first milestone of Ruyi’s steps into the United States,” Qiu said.

Once production begins, Arkansas cotton will be spun into yarn for textile use, the release states, noting that the state is fifth-largest cotton producer in the U.S.

Read Thursday’s Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for full details.

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