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State focusing on global markets

State focusing on global markets

Posted: Tuesday, February 26, 2013 12:00 am

Tennessee is going global in its effort to develop export markets.
Export development offices are planned for the United Kingdom, Mexico, Germany and China, according to a news release from state Commissioner of Economic Development Bill Hagerty.
The state is opening the overseas offices as part of an international strategy focused on increasing the exports of Tennessee goods to key markets around the globe, according to the news release.
The state’s announcement marks the first time since 1997 that Tennessee has overseas offices solely dedicated to advancing Tennessee exports.
“When facing an uncertain global economy, it is imperative that Tennessee businesses take steps to access both untapped markets and those exhibiting an increase in purchasing power due to fluctuating currency rates,” Hagerty said.
“Tennessee-made goods are known the world over for their quality and dependability, and a new export strategy will continue to help us meet our goal of becoming the number one state in the Southeast for high quality jobs,” Gov. Bill Haslam said.
During the past decade, Tennessee’s total export volume has more than tripled, according to the state news release.
More than 6,400 Tennessee businesses employing 80,000 workers sold nearly $30 billion worth of Tennessee products around the world in 2011, ranking Tennessee as the 14th largest exporting state in the U.S.
The state’s export program, TNTrade, was announced in 2011 and since there have been successful trade missions to Mexico, China and South Korea.
Top export markets for Tennessee include Canada, Mexico, China, Japan and the United Kingdom, according to the state. Export commodities include medical equipment and supplies, motor vehicle parts, basic chemicals, computer equipment, and resin and synthetic rubber.
Samar Ali is the state’s assistant commissioner for international affairs. She was joined by Hagerty during a tour of the Cates Landing project in Lake County earlier this month as they were briefed on the riverport’s progress.
Cates Landing and new Foreign Trade Zones established in West Tennessee are expected to play a major role in this region’s economic development potential involving foreign markets.
The state will focus this coming year on identifying and educating small and medium sized companies interested in exporting with an overall goal of increasing exports by 10 percent over the next three years.
TNTrade will evolve to offer export assistance in key global markets, education and networking opportunities using resources provided by the Small Business Administration state trade and export program grant.
A variety of free services will be offered through the export development offices, including business intelligence, market analysis, sales and marketing planning, identification of distribution partners and service providers, and company matchmaking, according to the state.
Tennessee is home to 834 foreign-owned companies, investing $24 billion and employing nearly 110,000 Tennesseans, according to the state’s news release

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