Focusing on increasing the exports of Tennessee goods to key markets around the globe, plans are to open trade offices in Mexico, the United Kingdom, Germany and China.
The announcement marks the first time since 1997 the state has had overseas offices solely dedicated to advancing Tennessee exports.
"Almost 20 percent of all Tennessee workers depend on the manufacture and sale of exported goods for their jobs," said Gov. Bill Haslam in a statement.
During the last decade, Tennessee's total export volume has more than tripled. More than 6,400 Tennessee businesses employing 80,000 workers sold nearly $30 billion worth of Tennessee products around the world in 2011 alone, ranking Tennessee the 14th largest exporting state in the U.S., officials said.
Bill Hagerty, commissioner of the state Department of Economic and Community Development, said that when facing an uncertain global economy, it is imperative that Tennessee businesses take steps to access both untapped markets and those exhibiting an increase in purchasing power due to fluctuating currency rates.
See Tuesday's Times Free Press for full story.