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Haslam, Rolfe on economic development trip to Asia

Staff Reports • Updated Oct 11, 2017 at 12:00 PM

NASHVILLE –Gov. Bill Haslam and Department of Economic and Community Development Commissioner Bob Rolfe are in Asia from Oct. 9-13 for an economic development trip designed to strengthen ties with Asian businesses and increase foreign direct investment in Tennessee.

During the weeklong trip, Haslam and Rolfe will pitch Tennessee’s advantages to a number of Asian businesses interested in establishing operations in the Southeast U.S. The trip will include stops in both Japan and South Korea.

“We’ve worked hard to bring more foreign direct investment to Tennessee, and it’s helped create both high quality jobs and a thriving economy,” Haslam said. “I am looking forward to sharing Tennessee’s story with more Asian businesses and strengthening ties with existing companies who already know that our business-friendly environment and ready-to-work workforce make Tennessee a great choice to locate operations.”

Tennessee led the nation in job creation from foreign direct investment in 2013 and 2015, according to IBM-PLI’s Global Location Trends report.

“Tennessee has strong momentum in terms of foreign direct investment, and Gov. Haslam and I plan to build on Tennessee’s recent success during this trip,” Rolfe said. “Asia is home to some of the world’s most successful companies, and we look forward to promoting our state’s business advantages to a number of companies next week.”

Japan and South Korea are among the top five countries with the largest foreign investment in Tennessee. Japanese companies have invested more than $17 billion in the state, while South Korean companies have invested more than $1 billion.

Among notable Asian FDI projects announced in 2017, LG Electronics, Inc. of South Korea pledged $250 million to build a new home appliance manufacturing facility in Clarksville, creating at least 600 new jobs. Japanese automotive bearing parts manufacturer Miyake Forging North America Corp. announced its plans to invest $13.7 million to build a new manufacturing facility, creating 60 jobs in Surgoinsville.

The Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development’s mission is to develop strategies that help make Tennessee the No. 1 location in the Southeast for high quality jobs. To grow and strengthen Team Tennessee, the department seeks to attract new corporate investment in Tennessee and works with Tennessee companies to facilitate expansion and economic growth. For more information, visit tnecd.com.

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