LITTLE ROCK — Gov. Asa Hutchinson said Thursday he will leave Saturday for France and Germany, where he will attend two trade shows, encourage businesses already operating in Arkansas to expand and tell other business what the state has to offer.

LITTLE ROCK — Gov. Asa Hutchinson said Thursday he will leave Saturday for France and Germany, where he will attend two trade shows, encourage businesses already operating in Arkansas to expand and tell other business what the state has to offer.


"I think it’s very important that the governor of this state compete with other states in bringing business to this state — showcasing Arkansas, talking about what we’re doing in the steel industry, in aero defense, in agriculture, as well as in the retail world," Hutchinson said in an informal meeting with reporters at the Governor’s Mansion.


"I hope as governor during the course of the next four years to make not just one of these trips but a number of trips in various venues to market this state," he said.


Hutchinson will head first to the Paris Air Show, the world’s largest aviation and aerospace trade show, where Arkansas will have a booth for the first time.


Hutchinson said he and representatives of the Arkansas Economic Development Commission and Arkansas industries will meet with aerospace companies from around the world at the show, including two companies that already have operations in Arkansas, Dassault Falcon Jet and Lockheed Martin.


Hutchinson said he will spend two days in Paris, then go to Germany, where he will attend the METEC International Metallurgical Trade Fair in Dusseldorf. Hundreds of exhibitors from 33 countries are expected to participate, he said.


"With … Big River Steel and Nucor-Yamato, we’ll be able to boast that Arkansas soon will have one county (Mississippi) that will be the leading steel producer in the nation," Hutchinson said.


He said he will spend two-and-a-half days in Germany. By the time he returns on June 19, he expects to have met formally with 17 companies in the two countries, in addition to having numerous informal meetings.