Attend Paris Air Show, Recruit New Investment from Leading Companies in France and Italy 

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Last week, Tennessee Governor Bill Lee and Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development Commissioner Stuart McWhorter traveled to France and Italy for a six-day economic development trip to strengthen relationships with European businesses and increase foreign direct investment (FDI) from trusted global companies in Tennessee, resulting in more jobs and greater opportunity for Tennesseans. 

The trip marks Gov. Lee’s second international economic development trip and first trade mission to Europe since taking office in 2019. Gov. Lee was one of 10 U.S. governors to attend the Paris Air Show this year, which resumed for the first time since 2019 following a three-year pause. 

Access photos from the Paris Air Show here and the Gruppo Concorde factory in Italy here. 

“Tennessee has earned a worldwide reputation for being one the best places to do business, not just in the United States but across the globe,” said Gov. Lee. “These European companies face the realities of high taxes and heavy regulations every day, and when they want to expand or relocate, our unmatched business climate and skilled workforce strategy place Tennessee at the top of their list. Economic development brings more good jobs and greater opportunity for Tennesseans, and I look forward to welcoming continued investment to our state from leading companies around the world.” 

During the first portion of the trip, Gov. Lee and Commissioner McWhorter attended the Paris Air Show to meet with aerospace and advanced manufacturing industry leaders and discuss Tennessee’s economic advantages with numerous prospective companies that are interested in establishing operations in Tennessee. 

In France and Italy, the Governor met with executive leadership from multiple companies that currently operate in Tennessee to thank them for their ongoing investment in the state, discuss their global business plans, and welcome future expansions and additional investment that would create new jobs and opportunity for Tennesseans. 

Gov. Lee met with French-based companies that currently have operations in Tennessee, including: 

  • Schneider Electric, energy management and automation – Franklin, Tennessee 
  • BabyNov, baby food manufacturer – Red Boiling Springs, Tennessee 
  •  Puy du Fou, immersive historical theme park (opening in 2024) – Sevierville, Tennessee 
  • Valeo, automotive supplier – Smyrna, Tennessee 

Gov. Lee visited with Italian-based porcelain tile manufacturers that currently operate in the Volunteer State: 

  • Iris Ceramica Group (Stonepeak Ceramics) – Crossville, Tennessee 
  •  Gruppo Concorde (Landmark Ceramics) – Mt. Pleasant, Tennessee 

“With five offices across Europe and Asia, investing in and supporting our global partnerships is an essential component of our work at TNECD,” said Commissioner McWhorter. “More than 160,000 Tennesseans are employed by international brands across the state, and we will continue to work alongside these companies and their parent countries to promote future foreign direct investment opportunities.” 

More than 100 French and Italian companies currently operate in Tennessee and have already generated a combined $2 billion in capital investment in Tennessee and currently employ approximately 13,500 Tennesseans. Additional information about French and Italian direct investment in Tennessee can be found here: 

Current Foreign Direct Investment from France: 

  •  $939M Capital Investment by French Companies 
  • 10,300+ Tennesseans employed by French-owned businesses 
  • 75+ French-owned establishments in Tennessee 

Current Foreign Direct Investment from Italy: 

  •  $1B+ Capital Investment by Italian Companies 
  •  3,200+ Tennesseans employed by Italian-owned businesses 
  •  34+ Italian-owned establishments in Tennessee 


filter background