Gov. Bill Haslam and Department of Economic and Community Development Commissioner Bob Rolfe will travel to Asia later this month. (Photo: Staff)

Gov. Bill Haslam and Department of Economic and Community Development Commissioner Bob Rolfe will travel to Asia next week to strengthen ties with businesses there and increase foreign direct investment.

Haslam said in a prepared statement:

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. 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.

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During the weeklong trip, which begins Oct. 9, Haslam and Rolfe will pitch Tennessee to a few businesses in Japan and South Korea that are interested in establishing operations in the Southeast U.S.

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

“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 in a prepared statement. “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.”

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

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