Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam and Department of Economic and Community Development Commissioner Bob Rolfe will travel to Europe May 4-11 for an economic development trip designed to strengthen ties with European businesses and increase foreign direct investment in Tennessee.
During the week-long trip, Governor Haslam and Commissioner Rolfe will pitch Tennessee’s advantages to a number of European businesses interested in establishing operations in the Southeast U.S. The trip will include stops in the United Kingdom, Sweden, Germany, Austria and Italy.
As part of the economic development trip, Governor Haslam and Commissioner Rolfe will travel on the inaugural British Airways flight from Nashville International Airport to Heathrow Airport in London. British Airways announced in August 2017 plans to have a nonstop, direct flight between Nashville International Airport and London Heathrow Airport beginning this month.
“Tennessee continues to be one of the top locations for foreign direct investment, with more than 900 foreign companies operating in our state,” Governor Haslam said. “With this upcoming trip, I look forward to creating future partnerships with European companies as well as building upon the strong relationships we currently have with existing European companies in our state.”
“European companies continue to have a strong presence in Tennessee and after this trip, I hope we are able to further strengthen that presence,” Commissioner Rolfe said. “We’re also looking forward to the start of the British Airways nonstop service from Nashville to London. This will be the only nonstop service between the two cities, and those who take advantage of these flights will have access to 130 additional cities in Europe and across the globe. We believe this will have an incredibly positive impact on future business recruitment in the United Kingdom and Europe.”
There are more than 560 European-owned businesses that operate in Tennessee, employing approximately 71,000 Tennesseans. Since 2011, European businesses have pledged to invest $4.1 billion in Tennessee and committed to create more than 20,000 jobs.
Among notable European FDI projects announced in 2018, Van Hool NV of Belgium announced in April it would invest $47 million to build the company’s first U.S. manufacturing facility in Morristown and create nearly 640 jobs in Hamblen County.
Trip updates can be found on Facebook at facebook.com/tnecd and Twitter at @tnecd.