Haslam, Hagerty Announce New Tennessee Export Strategy And Foreign Offices

Monday, February 11, 2013

Governor Bill Haslam and Economic and Community Development Commissioner Bill Hagerty on Monday announced an international strategy focused on increasing the exports of Tennessee goods to key markets around the globe.  Efforts will be led by ECD’s International Division with new Export Development Offices in Mexico, the United Kingdom, Germany serving the entire European Union, and China. Monday’s announcement marks the first time since 1997 that the state of Tennessee has had overseas offices solely dedicated to advancing Tennessee exports. 

“Almost 20 percent of all Tennessee workers depend on the manufacture and sale of exported goods for their jobs,” Governor Haslam said.  “Tennessee-made goods are known the world over for their quality and dependability, and a new export strategy will continue to help us meet our goal of becoming the No. 1 state in the Southeast for high quality jobs.”

“When facing an uncertain global economy, it is imperative that Tennessee businesses take steps to access both untapped markets and those exhibiting an increase in purchasing power due to fluctuating currency rates,” Commissioner Hagerty said. “The state’s economy is more connected to the global economy than ever before, and we are excited to roll out new initiatives to help educate and open doors for Tennessee companies.”

During the last decade, Tennessee’s total export volume has more than tripled.  More than 6,400 Tennessee businesses employing 80,000 workers sold nearly $30 billion worth of Tennessee products around the world in 2011 alone, ranking Tennessee the 14th largest exporting state in the U.S. 

ECD’s export program TNTrade was announced in 2011, and two successful trade missions were led to Mexico with Tennessee automotive suppliers last July and another to China and South Korea with Tennessee medical device manufacturers and health care companies in April. 

TNTrade will evolve to offer export assistance in key global markets, education and networking opportunities using resources provided by a Small Business Administration State Trade and Export Program grant.  The coming year will focus on identifying and educating small and medium companies interested in exporting with an overall goal of increasing exports by 10 percent over the next three years. 

“Tennessee is one of the foremost transportation hubs in the world, and this superiority in logistics gives our state an added and compelling advantage in the competition for global export markets,” Commissioner Hagerty added. 

Export Development Offices located in Mexico, the United Kingdom, Germany and China will help Tennessee small- and medium-size businesses navigate the exporting process.  A variety of free services will be offered including business intelligence, market analysis, sales and marketing planning, identification of distribution partners and service providers, and company matchmaking. 

“Some of the greatest barriers to exporting are lack of knowledge and fear of the unknown,” Samar Ali, ECD assistant commissioner for International Affairs, said.  “Our goal is to eliminate these uncertainties and make exporting less intimidating, while fostering an export culture throughout the state.” 

The TNTrade Academy will also be established to flatten the export learning curve and compress the timeline leading to a successful export sale.  As part of the Academy, a select group of businesses will be given a grant to complete Belmont University’s Global Business Professional Series that includes monthly luncheons with international business experts across the state, and a new web portal will be established featuring export education resources and announcements.

Top export markets for Tennessee include Canada, Mexico, China, Japan and the United Kingdom, while top export commodities include medical equipment and supplies, motor vehicle parts, basic chemicals, computer equipment, and resin and synthetic rubber. 

In addition to export initiatives, the ECD International Division will proactively identify and recruit new foreign direct investment into the state.  Four Investment Recruitment Offices have been established in Japan, Germany serving the entire European Union, Canada and the United Kingdom.  Tennessee is home to 834 foreign-owned companies, investing $24 billion and employing almost 110,000 Tennesseans. 


SIGNIX Hires New Vice President Of Partner Development

SIGNiX , a company that provides secure and simple digital signature services announced the hiring of its new Vice President of Partner Development, Leonora Zilkha Williamson. Ms. Williamson will work to identify and target potential partners in a variety of industries.  SIGNiX has long been a partner-centric company that focuses on providing total solutions to software ... (click for more)

Northgate And Hamilton Place Malls Offer Free Trick Or Treating

Northgate & Hamilton Place Mall Stores are offering free family fun  with trick or treating at participating mall stores on Friday, Oct. 31.  It will last from 6 p.m. until close while supplies last. (click for more)

Additions And Improvements At Camp Jordan Arena Coming Soon

Additions and improvements are coming to Camp Jordan Arena in the near future. At the Thursday night meeting of the East Ridge city council, approval was given for buying new playground equipment. It will come from Gametime, a locally-based company. The VP of Marketing lives in East Ridge and made a proposal to set up the playground at Camp Jordan so his company could use it for ... (click for more)

Tribute Service For Luther Masingill Held At Historic Engel Stadium

It took a place as big as historic Engel Stadium for Chattanooga to say goodbye to their beloved Luther. Hundreds came Thursday afternoon to pay tribute to Luther Masingill who died early Monday morning after a radio career that spanned an amazing 74 years. It was clear from all who spoke that he was considered not only a radio personality, but also a role model. One after ... (click for more)

Not Everything Has Been Done To Save Hutcheson

I am a resident of Walker County and I have a personal belief that a hospital ranks equal to other basic services a community should offer (like police, fire, emergency services, school systems, government, etc.). I am not privy to all the management and financial conundrums concerning the feasibility of maintaining and growing Hutcheson, and as a private citizen I don’t believe ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: A Veterinarian’s Horse Sense

I suspect you’ve heard by now that a doctor in New York City, who volunteers with “Doctors Without Borders,” just got back from the African nation of Guinea on October 17 – last Friday – and on Thursday tested positive for the deadly Ebola virus. Luckily, he came in actual contact with only a few people but he reportedly rode a subway, took a taxi, went on a three-mile run and ... (click for more)