Haslam, Boyd headed for China, Korea and Japan

News release from Department of Economic and Community Development
NASHVILLE — Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam and Economic and Community Development Commissioner Randy Boyd will travel to Asia on an economic development trip focused on increasing foreign direct investment opportunities specifically related to the automotive, high tech and advanced manufacturing sectors.

The 10-day business trip is scheduled from Monday, May 2 to Wednesday, May 11 and will include stops in Korea, China and Japan. Haslam and Boyd will meet with executives of existing Tennessee businesses as well as work to expand relationships between Tennessee and Asian business communities.

“Last year alone, foreign direct investments totaled $2.25 billion in capital and created more than 7,800 new jobs. This is an excellent opportunity to take the ‘Tennessee Story’ abroad and promote all of the great things that our state has to offer,” Haslam said. “We’re a low-tax, low-debt, strategically located state that is the first in the nation to offer high school graduates last dollar scholarships to attend community or technical college free of tuition and fees. I look forward to building upon our existing business partnerships and forming new ones that can be mutually beneficial.”

“Tennessee ranks No. 1 in the Southeast and No. 3 in the nation for Japanese capital investment. Our goal is to not only maintain that position, but to add Korea and China to those rankings as well,” Boyd said. “Our state is fortunate to be home to so many successful global companies, and it is imperative that we continue to expand our relationships with these companies while seeking new opportunities for future investment.”

There are 216 Japanese, Korean and Chinese-owned establishments in Tennessee with a combined investment of nearly $20 billion and over 52,000 in total employment to date. Japan is Tennessee’s largest foreign investor nation, representing over 50 percent of all foreign direct investment in the state. With 183 Japanese-owned businesses in Tennessee, Japan has invested $17.7 billion in the state’s economy, employing nearly 50,000 Tennesseans. Korea and China are among the top 10 foreign investing countries, ranking fifth and eighth, respectively.

In addition to Haslam and Boyd, the delegation will consist of six key economic development project managers and support staff. They will meet throughout the trip with peers from government and businesses.

Updates will be provided throughout the trip and can be found on Facebook at facebook.com/tnecd and Twitter at @tnecd.