Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam and Economic and Community Development Commissioner Randy Boyd will travel to Germany from Oct. 31 to Nov. 4 in an effort to build and strengthen ties with the country’s business leaders as well as increase foreign direct investment opportunities (FDI) in Tennessee.
In addition to meeting with German executives who already operate businesses in Tennessee, Haslam and Boyd will pitch the state’s advantages to a number of German companies interested in setting up operations in the Southeastern U.S.
Tennessee ranked No.
1 nationally for job creation resulting from foreign direct investment in 2015,according to IBM-PLI’s 2016 Global Location Trends report. Tennessee ranked No. 1 and No. 4 in IBM’s Global Local Trends report in 2014 and 2015, respectively.
“So far this year, foreign-owned companies have invested $1.2 billion in Tennessee and committed to create nearly 4,800 jobs for Tennesseans. This is a tremendous opportunity to continue to build on our international recruitment successes and promote the great things Tennessee has to offer,” Haslam said. “Our state is in strong fiscal health, has a business-friendly environment that encourages innovation as well as a skilled and ready workforce. We also offer high school graduates the Tennessee Promise, the only program in the country that gives graduating seniors a chance to earn a certificate or degree beyond high school free of charge.”
There are 103 German-owned companies in Tennessee that have invested nearly $5.3 billion throughout the state and employ almost 14,000 Tennesseans. Germany is the second-largest source of FDI in Tennessee, behind only Japan. FDI from German companies accounts for more than 15 percent of the total $33.4 billion that foreign-owned businesses have invested in Tennessee.
“Tennessee continues to be a prime location in the United States for FDI,” Boyd said. “German companies have been invaluable partners in helping make Tennessee the top state for FDI job creation two of the past three years. Today, there are roughly 920 foreign-owned businesses that employ more than 123,000 Tennesseans. In the past decade alone, the number of foreign-owned companies in Tennessee has jumped more than 43 percent. These FDI investments boost wages, increase job opportunities, diversify and grow Tennessee’s economy. Governor Haslam and I look forward to building upon Tennessee’s existing business partnerships with German companies and forging new ties that can have a lasting impact on our state’s communities.”
Germany is home to successful global companies in the advanced manufacturing, automotive and materials sectors. Haslam and Boyd plan to showcase how these industries are primed for growth in Tennessee and build relationships to attract more FDI from Germany in the future.
From a jobs standpoint, the biggest single FDI-project in Tennessee since 2011 has been German-based Volkswagen’s 2,000-job Chattanooga expansion announced in July 2014. Other major FDI projects from Germany include Fresenius Medical Care’s new 665-job facility in Knoxville, a $140 million project announced in March 2014.
TNECD staff, including the recently appointed director for Germany, Austria and Switzerland, will accompany Haslam and Boyd. Updates on the trip to Germany can be found on Facebook at facebook.com/tnecd and Twitter at @tnecd.