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Tennessee Seeking to Bolster Business Ties with China, South Korea

A trade mission to China and South Korea, underway this week by state economic development officials and nearly a dozen health care-related companies in Tennessee, looks to build on the state’s already productive trade relationships with east Asian countries.

Through the mission, which will be led by Bill Hagerty, commissioner for the Department of Economic and Community Development, the state intends to help increase exports by small- and mid-level businesses in Tennessee.

The participants will attend business meetings arranged by the U.S. Commercial Service, a component of the Department of Commerce, as well as an exhibition of health care-related products and services in the Asia-Pacific Region, the China International Medical Equipment Fair.

“Last year, Tennessee exported roughly $30 billion dollars in goods; however, fewer than two percent of all Tennessee companies are exporters,” Hagerty said in a press release released in late January by ECD. “This trade mission will allow participants to be introduced to potential distributors and customers in the rapidly growing Asian market and explore new sources of revenue.”

The state already enjoys a good trade relationship with Japan, considering that the Land of the Rising Sun has invested around $15 billion in Tennessee over the years, Gov. Bill Haslam said at the opening of a VICAM plant in Manchester in early March. The Japanese company recycles plastics to make automobile upholstery and carpet.

A press release from ECD details the companies participating in the trade mission to eastern Asia:

The companies participating in the trade mission are:

  • ABT Molecular Imaging, Knoxville, a molecular imaging company and manufacturer of the “Dose on Demand” Biomarker Generator which provides researchers and clinicians access to PET biomarkers on demand.
  • Christie Medical Holdings, Memphis, is the developer of the revolutionary VeinViewer imaging system, designed to see a patient’s veins through their skin for assistance in IV placement and blood draws.
  • Dream Systems, Nashville, develops and implements telehealth solutions for local, regional, national and international healthcare organizations.
  • E-Spin Technologies, Chattanooga, a global leader in nanofiber manufacturing and nanofiber-based air filtration products providing cleaner air for healthcare, commercial, industrial and residential markets.
  • Fillauer, Chattanooga, a leading manufacturer and distributor of orthotic and prosthetic products both domestically and internationally.
  • Gryphus Diagnostics, Knoxville, develops and manufactures products primarily for women’s health, including in vitro diagnostics tests for the diagnosis of bacterial vaginosis.
  • Hollywog, Chattanooga, is the developer of WiTouch™, the first wireless remote controlled pain relief device incorporating TENS technology to specifically target back pain.
  • iScreen Vision, Cordova, provides fast, easy, and portable pediatric vision-screening equipment and analysis for infants, pre-school children and school-age children.
  • Silicone Arts Laboratories, Memphis, combines Hollywood special effects and plastic surgery techniques to manufacture scar and wrinkle concealment products called Dermaflage.
  • Stinger Medical, Murfreesboro, manufactures cordless mobile workstations used by nurses at the bedside for patient documentation and medication administration, and Mobius Power®, a swappable battery system that keeps mobile carts powered 24/7.
  • VenX Medical, Nashville, is the developer of a disposable, hand actuated proprietary device for the treatment of small- and medium-sized veins.

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