Tennessee Targeting France, Spain For FDI

TNECD has added an international team to focus on attracting new foreign direct investment to the state, bringing its international presence to 10 countries in Europe and Asia.

The Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development (TNECD) is upping its efforts to attract new foreign direct investment (FDI) to the state by adding two international representatives for Spain and France. Lorenzo Vignal and Sergio Fribolle will serve as the new directors of business development for France and Spain. As Tennessee’s primary representatives in France and Spain, Vignal and Fribolle will be the main contacts for Spanish and French companies exploring new operations in the U.S.

Tennessee foreign direct investment
Credit: Adam Gault

“Overseas recruitment has been a crucial part of TNECD’s strategy to lure new investment and high-quality jobs to Tennessee,” said TNECD Commissioner Bob Rolfe. “We’re excited to bring onboard Lorenzo Vignal and Sergio Fribolle, who both bring considerable experience, relationships and expertise to our international team. TNECD now has a presence in 10 countries across Europe and Asia and I’m confident our seasoned representatives abroad will ensure Tennessee continues to be one of the leading destinations for FDI in the U.S.”

More than 75 French-owned businesses operate in Tennessee, collectively employing more than 9,200 Tennesseans. Spanish-owned companies employ more than 900 Tennesseans. Since 2011, TNECD has secured investments from 13 French companies and four Spanish businesses, totaling approximately $387 million in investment and more than 2,700 job commitments.

In addition to the new offices in France and Spain, TNECD currently has representatives based in the United Kingdom, Italy, Germany, Benelux, China, South Korea and Japan.

Tennessee was the top state in the country for job creation through foreign direct investment in 2013 and 2015, according to IBM-PLI’s Global Location Trends report. In total, there are approximately 950 foreign-owned business establishments in Tennessee that employ more than 140,000 people.

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