Commissioner Matt Kisber officially opened the China Trade Mission with introductions and a summary of the economic development achievements that have been accomplished in Tennessee over the past seven years. During Governor Bredesen's two terms, he has created $28 billion of new business, created 170,000 new jobs and attracted 48 new headquarters to Tennessee. As a California native, these are impressive numbers to me when I consider the disaster they're now in. Tennessee actually grew slightly in the past year while California lost 732,000 jobs and has 2.2 million unemployed people. Governor Bredesen then gave us a recap of the 2007 China trip and what they've accomplished since the visit. They had signed an MOU to exchange health care ideas for rural areas. It has been successful. There are also joint opportunities in renewable energy. China is making large investments in solar energy, as is Tennessee. Tennessee companies spent $2B in the last year on the technology. Tennessee companies currently export $1.3 billion to China, this number is sure to grow. Tennessee is the 13th-largest importer of Chinese goods. They are our third-largest trading partner after Canada and Mexico. The Governor encouraged us to keep an open mind to as to how Tennesseans can increase business with China. We then heard presentations about the useful U.S. and state resources that are available to companies seeking to do business in China. The Embassy has a Commercial Services Division which assists U.S. companies on exporting products to China. They have many services, including policing intellectual property rights. Also, Tennessee's office of Economic Development has a small office in China. They are the first point of contact for Tennessee businesses wishing to do business here. In the afternoon, we were joined by nearly 100 Chinese business men and woman who wanted to learn more about doing business in Tennessee. The translated presentations consisted of a China-based company with a plant in Tennessee, who touted their great experience with the state. We also heard from a Peking University business professor who has been to Tennessee and raved about the low cost of living, right-to-work policies, logistics via freeways and airports and the beautiful natural resources. We then concluded the day with a reception with the Chinese businesspeople and discussed ways we could do business together. Many cards were exchanged. We all had one thing in common: They, too, are big fans of Elvis and Jack Daniel's. Off to Xi'an, one of China's oldest cities, tomorrow.
Oct 23, 2009 8:16 AM
With a day before formal meetings started, we decided to take a day trip out to see the Great Wall. We had a meeting with a local biotech development organization, then headed west about an hour and a half. The Wall is an incredibly massive man-made sight to see. Spanning 4,000 miles, parts of it were built as early as 700 B.C. to help stop invasions from hostile tribesman from the North. We drove to a location which had shops and a tram up to a section of the Wall. The Wall was built of stone with areas where natives could shoot arrows from the Wall without getting hit by return fire. There were several thousand visitors touring the section of the Wall, which we could see for miles. The wind was quite strong, so air quality was quite good for this time of year. After the Wall we drove back to Beijing and through Olympic Village to see the Bird's Nest, another incredibly designed structure which was consistent with other massive structures we continued to see. The evening was ended early as we needed to prepare for the first day of meetings.
Oct 20, 2009 2:12 PM
Alex Marks, senior VP at Tower Investments, is one of the roughly 30 business leaders from around the state who have joined Gov. Bredesen on a 10-day trade mission to China. Marks will check in regularly with his observations from and thoughts on the trip. Check out his first note here.
Oct 20, 2009 10:58 AM
Tower Investments exec checks in with first in series of notes and observations from Tennessee's trade delegation to Middle Kingdom
Oct 20, 2009 10:52 AM
A local manufacturer leads the charge against Chinese subsidies [From our print edition featured in Monday's City Paper]
Oct 11, 2009 12:49 PM
Venerable local mattress manufacturer Jamison Bedding has found a distribution partner to help it crack the Chinese travel market as well as its potentially massive emerging middle and upper classes.
Mattress exports are not common, as shipping costs add up and sleep sets are bulky items to ship. But targeted programs, like the one Jamison is launching, can achieve success, bedding observers say.SEE ALSO: Plenty of big local names on China ECD trip
Sep 28, 2009 8:18 AM
Bredesen, Kisber leading 10-day mission next month
Sep 25, 2009 1:34 PM
Lindsay Chappell at Automotive News checks in with word that Nissan will for the first time export U.S.-made engines to Japan for cars that will make their way back stateside. The V-8s being made in Decherd will go into Infiniti models that are apparently in higher-than-expected demand.
Sep 17, 2009 2:33 PM
In today's flatter world, the obstacles to international growth are shrinking quickly [From our print edition featured in Monday's City Paper]
Aug 30, 2009 10:46 PM
Bobby Frank has BorderJump ready to ride the international trade wave [From our print edition featured in Monday's City Paper]
Aug 30, 2009 10:25 PM