Tennessee: Hotspot for Global Companies

Nestled in the grandeur of the Great Smokey Mountains, Tennessee is a state built on a solid foundation of global importance and improvement. Tennessee is the 17th largest state of the United States and home to 6.5 million residents (U.S. Census Bureau 2012). The Volunteer State offers an abundance of recreation, entertainment, business, education and research facilities with major transport and commercial hubs located in and around the capital city Nashville, and Memphis, Chattanooga and Knoxville.

Key industries are automotive, logistics, chemicals and plastics, advanced manufacturing, energy technology and health care. More than $3 billion in research and development expenditures occur annually in the state. Today, nearly 800 foreign subsidiaries representing 34 countries have an address throughout the state; among them are about 100 German companies. These vital economic statistics speak for themselves: In the last seven years Tennessee has seen the creation of more than 184,000 jobs, capital investments of $32 billion and the relocation of 49 corporate headquarters.

Tennessee has vital prerequisites for companies to succeed. Immediate access to eight interstate highways, 1,000 miles of waterways connecting to river ports and three ocean ports; and six commercial airports, including Memphis International, the world’s second busiest freight airport and home to FedEx Super Hub, facilitate doing business with customers and suppliers around the world.

Another business advantage is the fact that Tennessee has no personal income tax and the fourth lowest state and local tax burden in the U.S. The state also has the second lowest cost of living in the country; with the cost of living in all major Tennessee cities below the national average. The state has the lowest debt per capita in the nation and consistently receives the highest credit ratings from the three major U.S. bond rating agencies.

Germany continues to be an important trading partner for the state of Tennessee and the largest European investor with more than $3.13 billion in investment in 2012 (Tennessee Department of Economic Development). German-based companies are a reliable and sustainable foreign job creator throughout the state and cooperation with German companies, especially in the automotive and manufacturing industries, is strong.

The State of Tennessee has decided to focus around four key strategies to grow their economy establishing regional “jobs based camps”, reducing business regulation, investing in innovation, and prioritizing key clusters and existing businesses. Within a year’s time, the decision has proven to play a vital role in transforming Tennessee into a destination for global business.


Visit the GACC South Tennessee Chapter page > click here.

State Facts:

Capital: Nashville
Population: 6.4 Million
German Companies: 101
Total Trade w. Germany: $3.1 Billion
Major Industries: Logistics, Manufacturing, Chemicals and Agriculture

German Business in Tennessee

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Michaela Schobert

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Atlanta, GA

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