Gov. Haslam and Commissioner Boyd concluded their economic development trip to Asia last week. The trip focused on building relationships both with companies who are already invested in Tennessee and those looking to start operations in the United States.
“Last year alone, foreign direct investments totaled $2.25 billion in capital and created more than 7,800 new jobs. This is an excellent opportunity to take the ‘Tennessee Story’ abroad and promote all of the great things that our state has to offer,” Haslam said. “We’re a low-tax, low-debt, strategically located state that is the first in the nation to offer high school graduates last dollar scholarships to attend community or technical college free of tuition and fees. I look forward to building upon our existing business partnerships and forming new ones that can be mutually beneficial.”
During the trip, Gov. Haslam and Commissioner Boyd along with the TNECD team visited three countries, Korea, China and Japan, and eight cities in the span of 10 days.
The first stop was South Korea. Korean investment in Tennessee is on the rise with over 10 Korean-based establishments investing more than $900 million in the state and employing 1,500 Tennesseans.
Gov. Haslam and Commissioner Boyd co-hosted a reception in Seoul to promote relations with Korean companies and government officials. TNECD’s new FDI representative, Heejung Shin, was introduced during the reception, and Gov. Haslam spoke about the recently signed Memorandum of Understanding concerning Korean and Tennessee driver’s licenses. The reception had over 70 attendees including Marc Knapper, Deputy Chief of Mission for the U.S. Embassy in Seoul, and Seung Hwa Suh, Vice Chairman and Global CEO of Hankook Tire. The governor and commissioner also had a chance to meet with soldiers from Tennessee who are currently serving in Korea during the reception.