International Business

We’re in it for the long term.

By investing in a broader international footprint, we’ve ensured that Tennessee is firmly entrenched in the new global economy.

The Volunteer State is home to 967 foreign-based businesses that have invested over $37.3 billion in capital and employ more than 147,000 Tennesseans. Tennessee continues to proactively identify and recruit new foreign direct investment (FDI) to the state alongside efforts to increase Tennessee exports. Our state has offices courting foreign direct investment in Japan, South Korea, China, Netherlands, Germany, Italy, and the United Kingdom. We work closely with our federal partners to promote exports, which totaled more than $33.2 billion in 2017. This investment demonstrates Tennessee's commitment to competing globally for business and jobs, which is not something that most states can claim.

In 2017, the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development received 39 project commitments from foreign-owned businesses, resulting in 6,966 job commitments and $2.52 billion in capital investment. This FDI accounted for nearly one-third of all Tennessee’s new jobs committed in 2017 and 56.0 percent of all capital investment committed in the state.  These major foreign projects included Japanese-owned Denso Manufacturing (1,000 new jobs, $1 billion in capital investment), Pakistan-owned Textile Corporation of America (1,000 new jobs, $27.1 million in capital investment), Netherlands-owned Philips Electronics (815 new jobs, $17.0 million in capital investment), Korean-owned LG Electronics (600 new jobs, $250.6 million in capital investment), and Finland-owned Nokian Tyres (400 new jobs, $360 million capital investment).

We believe in high expectations, low debt and a pro-business regulatory environment. Tennessee is proud to be a right-to-work state with no personal income tax on wages. Our state and local tax burdens are some of the lowest in the country. We have the lowest debt per capita among U.S. states and Tennessee’s budget operates with a healthy surplus.

# Top Exported Products:
Commodity NAICS 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
Total Exports    $30,016,116,443  $31,142,980,349  $32,473,718,590  $33,250,895,441  $32,587,843,773  $31,432,681,338  $33,200,072,942
Medical Equipment & Supplies 3391  $3,046,307,650  $3,202,360,376  $3,602,531,490  $3,406,152,442  $3,337,862,837  $3,325,488,281  $3,435,624,830
Motor Vehicles 3361  $1,247,172,225  $1,581,324,590  $2,252,857,725  $2,796,122,989  $2,708,558,521  $2,665,768,619  $2,899,817,363
Motor Vehicle Parts 3363  $2,790,067,404  $2,741,871,083  $2,862,640,312  $3,111,605,611  $3,130,481,822  $2,970,326,434  $2,708,489,868
Basic Chemicals 3251  $2,136,570,345  $2,151,077,190  $2,146,216,533  $2,151,795,386  $1,869,510,760  $1,784,795,632  $1,946,995,321
Navigational, Measuring, Electromedical and Control Instruments 3345  $1,333,403,162  $1,548,601,541  $1,556,372,744  $1,592,911,389  $1,803,613,821  $1,863,399,199  $1,941,986,892
Computer Equipment 3341  $2,061,060,110  $2,202,283,964  $2,146,811,789  $2,311,140,586  $2,205,945,039  $1,821,553,687  $1,894,911,266
Aerospace Products & Parts 3364  $1,222,639,771  $1,232,159,056  $1,264,839,747  $1,290,032,883  $1,358,817,853  $1,206,556,831  $1,588,803,052
Resin, Synthetic Rubber, Artificial & Synthetic Fibers/Filaments  3252  $1,683,896,286  $1,718,124,809  $1,839,048,397  $1,858,532,383  $1,726,286,803  $1,499,958,213  $1,481,213,627
Communications Equipment 3342  $522,601,111  $618,748,554  $650,634,142  $730,882,657  $713,978,338  $895,745,073  $952,236,366
Engines, Turbine and Power Transmission Equipment 3336  $945,138,883  $893,918,366  $825,702,544  $881,463,724  $980,953,368  $964,871,431  $867,202,544
# Top Ten Countries for Tennessee FDI:
Foreign Country # of Establishments Total Employment Capital Investment

Japan

190

52,058

$19,168,633,140

Germany

115

16,966

$5,480,305,624

Canada

72

8,953

$2,464,603,543

United Kingdom

118

11,960

$1,611,844,844

Switzerland

46

5,054

$1,115,137,279

Sweden

36

7,571

$1,096,186,500

Korea

11

3,373

$998,177,000

Italy

38

5,206

$854,825,889

France

76

9,397

$682,879,797

China

18

1,870

$467,048,736

Total

967

147,240

$37,262,206,331

$33.2 billion

in commodities were exported in 2017 from Tennessee, an increase of more than 2.2% over the past five years.

Denso Manufacturing
Volkswagen

#4

in the Southeast and #14 in the U.S. for total exported products.

#2

in the country in exports of Medical Equipment and Supplies with nearly $3.4 billion in 2017, trailing only California.

Hankook Tire

Exports to Tennessee’s ten largest export markets topped $24.8 billion in 2017, an increase of 19.8% from 2011 to 2017, outpacing the percentage growth for all countries.

Beretta USA