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 943 foreign-based businesses that have invested over $36.1 billion in capital and employ more than 140,000 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 $31.4 billion in 2016 This investment demonstrates Tennessee's commitment to competing globally for business and jobs, which is not something most states can claim.

Through the first ten months of 2017, Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development projects accounted for 29 project commitments from foreign-owned businesses that resulted in 5,709 job commitments and $2.49 billion in capital investment. This FDI accounted for nearly 35 percent of all Tennessee’s new jobs committed  this year and 65.2 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), 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), Finland-owned Nokian Tyres (400 new jobs, $360 million capital investment), and German-owned Hormann, LLC (204 new jobs, $63.7 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 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016
Total Exports:   $31,142,980,349 $32,473,718,590 $33,257,871,243 $32,596,500,403 $31,466,077,315
Medical Equipment & Supplies 3391 $3,202,360,376 $3,602,531,490 $3,406,632,704 $3,339,417,440 $3,341,617,138
Motor Vehicle Parts 3363 $2,741,871,083 $2,862,640,312 $3,111,605,611 $3,127,467,048 $2,965,401,115
Motor Vehicles 3361 $1,581,324,590 $2,252,857,725 $2,796,122,989 $2,708,473,539 $2,681,715,686
Computer Equipment 3341 $2,202,283,964 $2,146,811,789 $2,311,148,752 $2,206,006,151 $1,859,841,831
Basic Chemicals 3251 $2,151,077,190 $2,146,216,533 $2,155,683,523 $1,869,400,427 $1,821,145,844
Navigational, Measuring, Electromedical and Control Instrument 3345 $1,548,601,541 $1,556,372,744 $1,594,212,612 $1,804,195,682 $1,781,408,111
Resin, Synthetic Rubber, Artificial & Synthetic Fibers/Filaments 3252 $1,718,124,809 $1,839,048,397 $1,861,216,483 $1,733,967,339 1,506,338,269
Aerospace Products & Parts 3364 $1,232,159,056 $1,264,839,747 $1,290,032,883 $1,358,831,695 $1,227,330,906
Engines, Turbine and Power Transmission Equipment 3336 $893,918,366 $825,702,544 $881,463,724 $980,881,943 $964,452,866
Other Agricultural Products 1119 $969,881,693 $813,049,454 $562,542,975 $739,029,117 $895,779,871
# Top Ten Countries for Tennessee FDI:
Foreign Country Capital Investment Number of Companies Tennessee Employment
Japan $18,920,399,945  187 49,637
Germany $5,480,305,624 112 16,939
Canada $2,443,722,543  72 8,790
United Kingdom $1,571,786,105 114 10,776
Switzerland $1,125,147,279 46 4,989
Korea $1,125,147,279  11 3,317
Italy $854,825,889     38 4,622
France

$682,879,797

76 9,218
Sweden $596,186,500  35 7,354
China $467,048,736 18 1,895
Total $36,113,886,625  943 139,093

$31.4 billion

in commodities were exported in 2016 from Tennessee, an increase of more than 4.8% over the past five years.

Denso Manufacturing
Volkswagen

#4

in the Southeast and #13 in the U.S. for total exported products.

#2

in the country in exports of Medical Equipment and Supplies with nearly $3.3 billion in 2016, trailing only California.

Hankook Tire

Exports to Tennessee’s ten largest export markets topped $23.2 billion in 2016, an increase of 12.4% from 2011 to 2016, outpacing the percentage growth for all countries.

Beretta USA