With powerhouse international companies like Nissan, Bridgestone Americas, Volkswagen, Louisiana-Pacific and Gibson Guitar calling Tennessee home, our state has grown into the 16th largest exporter in the nation -- which is especially impressive for a landlocked state.
In Middle Tennessee alone, the relocations and expansions of nearly 100 foreign companies accounted for 11,192 new jobs from 2001 to 2010. More than 12% of these relocation and expansion projects were foreign direct investment (FDI).
The following statistics from the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development (TN ECD) illustrate just how crucial international business is to our state's economy:
- As of December 2010, 774 foreign-owned firms representing 36 different countries are operating in our state. This represents more than 103,000 jobs and a total capital investment of more than $23 billion.
- In 2009, FDI represented almost $7 of every $10 invested in Tennessee, or 67% of all investment that year.
- Between 2003 and 2009, Tennessee experienced average annual growth of 41% in FDI.
TN ECD maintains offices in our major investor and export markets, including China (Tennessee's third-largest export market and the world's second-largest economy); Canada (Tennessee's largest export market and fourth-largest FDI source at $1.22 billion); Germany (Tennessee’s sixth-largest export market and second-largest FDI source at $2.7 billion); and Japan (Tennessee's fourth-largest export market and largest FDI source at $14.6 billion).
In this increasingly global economy, our region and state are well-positioned for continued international investment. This is good news for Middle Tennessee as we look to the future and work to increase our reputation as a destination for international business.