The Greater Memphis Chamber and Commissioner Hagerty Welcome Delegation With China Investment Promotion Agency

Release date: 7/26/2012

The Greater Memphis Chamber’s International Development department, in conjunction with the Tennessee Economic and Community Development Department, worked with the China Investment Promotion Agency, the Tennessee China Development Center and the West Tennessee Industrial Association to bring a delegation from China to strengthen economic ties, promote mutual investments, trade and project cooperation between Chinese provinces and Tennessee.

More than 30 government officials and businessmen from China will hear presentations from local and state economic development officials on Friday, July 27th at the Peabody Memphis Hotel.  The Chinese representatives are mostly made up of mid-sized business leaders and have expressed interest in investing in bioscience and logistics industry projects in the U.S.  Tennessee is one of a handful of U.S. cities on the delegation’s tour.

“Under the leadership of Tennessee Governor Haslam and ECD Commissioner Bill Hagerty, we continue to forge strong relationships with our global partners in commerce,” said John Moore, president and CEO of the Greater Memphis Chamber.  “Memphis is fortunate to host this important meeting with the China Investment Promotion Agency of the Ministry of Commerce and we are grateful for the opportunity to highlight our vast manufacturing and logistics assets.  I am hopeful that this will result in new direct investment for our community.”

With abundant, inexpensive real estate and a large, low cost workforce, Memphis offers investment opportunities for foreign companies.  The U.S. Department of Commerce International Trade Administration ranked Memphis as a top metro area for exports in 2009. Memphis ranked 23rd out of 100 U.S. metros in total value of products exported.  Memphis is also home to major operations for more than 140 foreign-owned companies.

"On behalf of Governor Haslam, I am pleased to welcome the Chinese delegation to the Volunteer State,” said Bill Hagerty, commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development.  “This event follows a successful Tennessee trade mission in April to China, and we look forward to further strengthening our economic ties through increased exports.  China’s domestic market is one of the largest and fastest growing export opportunities for Tennessee businesses that we identified in our launch of TNTrade, the state’s initiative to boost exports of small- and mid-sized companies in the state."

TNTrade is intended to support Governor Haslam's goal of making Tennessee the No. 1 location in the Southeast for high quality jobs. In addition to trade missions, TNTrade offers small- and medium-sized companies across all sectors assistance with exporting through the Market Access Program (MAP). Visit for more information.  The program is funded through a U.S. Small Business Administration State Trade and Export Promotion (STEP) grant.

ECD’s April trade mission included stops in Beijing and Shenzhen, China for 11 Tennessee health care companies and medical device manufacturers.  Memphis-area companies making the trip were Christie Medical Holdings, iScreen Vision and Silicone Arts Laboratories. 

China is Tennessee’s third largest export nation behind only our North American neighbors Canada and Mexico.  Tennessee exports to China accounted for $2 billion in 2011, and top commodities included chemicals, agricultural products, and computer and electronic products.

The Greater Memphis Chamber is the lead economic development agency for Memphis/Shelby County, and is a private, non-profit, membership-driven organization comprised of 2,300 business enterprises, civic organizations, educational institutions and individuals.