Global Business Snapshot

The Nashville economic market is one of America’s most dynamic centers for business growth, with expanding global links and opportunities. With international businesses and headquarters spanning all business sectors, including corporate services, health care, advanced manufacturing, supply chain, music and entertainment, it is easy to see the diversity present in every aspect of Music City. No city of similar size offers as great a setting and potential for international trade and investment.

Increasing foreign direct investment and exports keeps the Nashville region on the leading edge of international business. Pro-business policy, cost advantages and location make Nashville a frontrunner in global trade.

Transportation links the U.S. and the world to Nashville. Unique advantages include three major interstate highways, a rail system connecting 20 states and a port connecting to the Mississippi River.

Trade opportunities continue to expand, as Tennessee continues to experience strong growth in exports. Pro-business policy, trade expertise and location advantage make Nashville a front-runner in global trade.

The pursuit of foreign direct investment (FDI) continues to be a priority for the Nashville region. On average, 20% of new jobs announced in the region are attributed to foreign investors. At current count, over 340 foreign-owned companies are invested in this region representing 26 countries and employing more than 57,000 Middle Tennessee residents. 

For more information see the Nashville Chamber International Brochure or the State of Tennessee international business website.

“Smart considered a number of cities and states when searching locations for our US Headquarters. Given we would be recruiting people from across the country, it was vital we select a city where we could draw people to work and live. Nashville’s central location, cost of living, vibrant community and depth of talent in technology and financial services led us to quickly move it to the top of our list. Our experience working with the economic development teams at the Tennessee Department of Economic & Community Development, TVA and the Chamber was beyond compare and sealed the deal on establishing Smart’s presence in Nashville. We truly felt valued and that we were building a partnership with the city and state.”

Jodan Ledford Smart US, Chief Executive Officer

Nashville Global Business Snapshot (2020)

  • 340+ foreign-owned company locations 
  • Foreign-owned companies employ more than 57,000 people in the Nashville region
  • Roughly 5,000 people move to Nashville from abroad every year
  • Tennessee ranks second among states for total Japanese foreign direct investment
  • Nashville MSA exports totaled nearly 7 billion in 2020

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