Jamie Stitt

Assistant Commissioner, Business and Workforce Development

Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development
312 Rosa L. Parks Ave., Nashville, TN 37243
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International Business

We Proudly Serve the World.

We’ve created an environment unbound by state borders. No other state is more competitive in recruiting foreign direct investment or in exporting products enjoyed the world over. We’ve established resources that make Tennessee accessible to any international market.

We’re in it for the long term. By investing in a broader international footprint, we’ve ensured that Tennessee is firmly entrenched in the new global economy.

The Volunteer State is home to 1,000+ foreign-based businesses that have invested over $38.5 billion in capital and employ more than 156,000 Tennesseans. Tennessee continues to proactively identify and recruit new foreign direct investment (FDI) to the state alongside efforts to increase Tennessee exports. Our state has offices courting foreign direct investment in Japan, South Korea, Ireland, France, Spain, Austria, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, and the United Kingdom. We work closely with our federal partners to promote exports, which totaled more than $31.0 billion in 2019. This investment demonstrates Tennessee’s commitment to competing globally for business and jobs, which is not something that most states can claim.

In 2019, the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development received 34 project commitments from foreign-owned businesses, resulting in 4,428 job commitments and $1.4 billion in capital investment. This FDI accounted for nearly one-third of all Tennessee’s new jobs committed in 2019 and 45 percent of all capital investment committed in the state.  These major foreign projects included German-owned Volkswagen (1,000 new jobs, $800 million in capital investment), Korean-owned Hyosung Heavy Industries (410 new jobs, $86.9 million in capital investment), and German-owned STULZ Air Technology Systems (250 new jobs, $2 million in capital investment).

We believe in high expectations, low debt and a pro-business regulatory environment. Tennessee is proud to be a right-to-work state with no personal income tax on wages. Our state and local tax burdens are some of the lowest in the country. We have the lowest debt per capita among U.S. states and Tennessee’s budget operates with a healthy surplus.

Quick Facts

1000+

Foreign-based establishments in Tennessee

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156K+

Tennesseans employed by foreign-based establishments

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$38.5+

Billion in capital invested in Tennessee by foreign-based establishments

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#2

In the U.S. for FDI job creation (2018)

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  • Top Exported Products
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    CommodityNAICS20152016201720182019
    Medical Equipment & Supplies3391$32,616,848,576$31,475,693,731$33,232,790,626$32,710,532,911$31,068,109,626
    Motor Vehicles3361$3,334,677,939$3,335,705,958$3,434,036,106$3,344,356,373$3,928,533,144
    Navigational/Measuring/Medical/Control Instrument3345$2,708,558,521$2,646,528,235$2,888,117,631$2,896,874,011$2,570,737,379
    Motor Vehicle Parts 3363$1,802,447,131$1,870,780,557$1,943,251,460$2,103,237,491$2,120,638,417
    Basic Chemicals3251$3,130,569,590$2,970,424,583$2,712,290,264$2,366,514,546$1,997,253,489
    Resin, Syn Rubber, Artificial & Syn Fibers/filaments 3252$1,869,510,760$1,784,849,534$1,942,827,949$2,009,711,392$1,896,330,876
    Computer Equipment3341$1,726,286,803$1,500,300,318$1,486,385,016$1,478,165,024$1,505,242,986
    Aerospace Products & Parts3364$2,205,940,635$1,825,404,446$1,914,664,959$1,103,188,898$1,133,767,477
    Pharmaceuticals & Medicines3254$1,358,817,853$1,206,419,845$1,589,098,057$1,464,792,334$1,033,820,213
    Engines, Turbine and Power Transmission Equipment3336$680,693,227$530,470,726$599,493,689$701,676,459$878,624,619
  • Top Countries for Tennessee FDI

    Data current as of July 2021.

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    Foreign Country# of EstablishmentsTotal EmploymentCapital Investment
    Japan19254,391$19,575,932,774
    Germany12920,991$6,610,091,328
    United Kingdom11511,600$1,674,562,844
    Canada808,831$3,122,153,088
    France7810,518$945,929,797
    Ireland667,837$125,931,108
    Netherlands483,938$244,766,574
    Switzerland475,289$1,152,654,904
    Italy373,907$941,763,279
    Sweden316,311$1,096,186,500

Chattanooga is now a key component in Gestamp’s strategic growth roadmap in North America.

- Francisco J. Riberas, President and CEO, Gestamp
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WE’VE ENSURED THAT TENNESSEE
IS FIRMLY ENTRENCHED IN THE NEW GLOBAL ECONOMY.

Tennessee continues to proactively identify and recruit new foreign direct investment (FDI) to the state alongside efforts to increase Tennessee exports. Our state has offices courting foreign direct investment in Japan, South Korea, Ireland, France, Spain, Austria, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, and the United Kingdom. We work closely with our federal partners to promote exports.

International Quick Facts

$38.5+

Billion in capital invested in Tennessee by foreign-based establishments

#2

In the U.S. for FDI job creation (2018)

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