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Haslam Joins Economic Delegation on Trip to Japan

Press release from the Office of Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam; Sept. 7, 2012: 

NASHVILLE – Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam will travel to Japan next week with a delegation made up of business leaders and economic development officials from across the state.

“Tennessee has had a successful and growing relationship with Japanese companies for nearly three decades,” Haslam said. “I look forward to honoring and reinforcing the meaningful, lasting relationships between our state and Japan.”

There are 133 Japanese companies in Tennessee, representing more than $14 billion in capital investment and making Japan Tennessee’s No. 1 direct foreign investor. Japanese companies employ 33,000 Tennesseans with companies like Nissan, Bridgestone and Denso leading the way.

Last year, $1.6 billion dollars in Tennessee goods were exported to Japan, the state’s fourth largest export destination in the world. Tennessee also ranked in the top 10 of all U.S. states for Japanese exports.

The governor will meet with Japanese companies that have a presence in Tennessee, and the delegation will join delegations from Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina and South Carolina to take part in the 35th annual Southeast U.S. Japan/Association (SEUS) meeting to promote trade, investment and understanding between Japan and the southeastern region of the U.S.

Since 2003, the seven SEUS member states have accounted for almost one-third of all Japanese investment in the United States. In 2012, the seven SEUS states exported almost $7 billion in goods to Japan.

This is Haslam’s first official visit to Japan as governor.

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Business and Economy NewsTracker

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.