Knoxville (WVLT) – The state of Tennessee has opened an economic development office in the People’s Republic of China.
The announcement was made Thursday morning by Governor Phil Bredesen who said the outpost in the communist nation is a part of the state’s official trade mission.
“We envision the Beijing office becoming a clearinghouse for information we can provide to Chinese companies interested in expanding into the U.S. market and for Tennessee companies trying to attract new customers in China,” Bredesen said in his official statement. “Ultimately the result of both efforts will be new jobs and new investment in Tennessee.”
Internationally, China is the state’s third largest trading partner, trailing Canada and Mexico.
In 2006, Tennessee sold more than $22 billion in goods and services to foreign customers.
The state is no strange to having international offices.
Tennessee also has outposts in Dusseldorf, Germany; Yokohama, Japan; and Toronto, Canada, all of which are managed by the Tennessee Department of Economic Development.
A few Chinese companies are also trying to develop a presence in the Volunteer state.
According to the Tennessee Department of Economic Development, FHG of Guangzhou has opened a chain of kitchen and math retail stores in Memphis, Nashville and Knoxville while Fushi International, Inc. of Dalian recently purchased Copperweld Bimetallics, a leading manufacturer of bimetallic wire located in Fayetteville.