In The News

“Tennessee Imported $27 Billion of Chinese Made Goods Last Year” – Chattanooga Times Free Press

On April 7, 2017, TN-China Network’s Executive Director Elizabeth Rowland was quoted in the Chattanooga Times Free Press discussing the impact of potential trade restrictions:

“But if there were increased restriction on imports, Tennessee consumers and all U.S. consumers would see a dramatic increase in prices that would impact everyone’s wallet,” she said. “I don’t think that the U.S. can expect to put dramatic import tariffs on goods coming into the United States without expecting our trading partners to react with their own import restrictions on our exports. There is a real danger that in the effort to protect our own industry, we might hurt both importers and exporters in our state.”


Earlier in the article, the article outlines Tennessee’s trade and investment relationship with China, mentioning TNCN’s research on Chinese companies invested in Tennessee:

TN-China Network, a nonprofit group that works to connect people in Tennessee that do business with China to boost exports to and investments from China, counts more than 35 major manufacturers or distributors from China, Hong Kong or Taiwan.

To read more, visit the Chattanooga Times Free Press article here.

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“TN-China Network is the right kind of State-China Network Org” – Health Intel Asia blog

On March 8, 2016, Damjan DeNoble, partner at Rubicon Strategy Group and blogger at Health Intel Asia, lauded TN-China Network as “the right kind of state-China network org”.

To be done correctly, the State-China network needs to be led by a business person, preferably with extensive experience in China and the US, who is bilingual, and who is doing this sort of work on a full time basis. I know of few people who fit this mold, and only of one organization in my neck of the woods within the US Southeast – that group is the TN-China Network, led by the enterprising Elizabeth Rowland, who has worked, in her impressive career, at the US Department of State, Covington & Burling, and the American Chamber of Commerce in China, and has degrees in international relations (MA) and Chinese language from the Johns Hopkins University and Fudan University, in Shanghai, respectively.


In addition, the website itself is loaded with useful information, including a list of Chinese-invested companies within the state. Like the organization, the TN-China Network website is loaded with facts relevant to business people.

To read more, visit the Health Intel Asia blog post.

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“Destination China: Exploring a Global Superpower” – Business Trend

In the March 2016 edition of the Chattanooga Chamber of Commerce’s Business Trend magazine, Holly Ashley takes a look at business opportunities with China, quoting from TN-China Network’s founder and executive director:

Elizabeth Rowland, founder of TN-China Network, suggests companies interested in entering the Chinese market focus on the country’s economic fundamentals, not just the stock market.

“The slowdown is part of the country’s economic restructuring to move up the economic value chain towards more value-added services,” Rowland says. “Their growth rate has predictably slowed to a rate more comparable with other advanced economies.”

She also suggests that businesses not let stock market turmoil distract them from what really matters:  does your product or service have a market in China?

Rowland, whose organization works to enhance bilateral trade with China and boost investment and job growth in Tennessee, reports that China ranks as the third largest export market for the state, valued at $2.5 billion in 2015.

To read the full article, click here.

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“Nonprofit Promotes Business Ties with China” – Knoxville Business Journal

Amy Nolan wrote about TN-China Network and TN-China trade and investment in the December 2015 edition of the Knoxville Business Journal.

While the rate of growth has slowed, global outbound investment from China was still up 47 percent in the first five months of this year, she says.

Twenty-five China-based companies are operating in Tennessee, with a dozen projects announced since 2011. In the Knoxville area, those announcements include Cirrus Aircraft, which will open near McGhee Tyson Airport, and Innovate Manufacturing, which announced its intentions in August to begin operations at a Knox County business park.

Still, the state lags behind some of its Southeastern neighbors, including North Carolina, George, South Carolina and Virginia in capturing Chinese investments.

At the same time, China is Tennessee’s third largest export market — behind Canada and Mexico — and is growing as higher wages lift more people into the middle class. “I’d love to help Tennessee companies figure out how they can tap into those markets,” Rowland says.

To read the full article, visit the Knoxville Business Journal website.

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“Connecting Tennessee and China” – 91.9 FM WUOT

On October 20, 2015, TN-China Network Executive Director, Elizabeth Rowland, discussed with 91.9 FM WUOT’s Todd Steed about Tennessee-China business, how she started TN-China Network, and upcoming TNCN events. To listen to the broadcast, click here.

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“China’s Economic and Cultural Presence in Knoxville Grows” – Knoxville Mercury

On September 16, 2015, Joe Sullivan of the Knoxville Mercury highlighted China’s growing economic and cultural presence in Knoxville, prominently featuring TN-China Network in the article.

Based in Knoxville, the founder and executive director of the TN-China Network, Elizabeth Rowland, points out that “several positive developments in the past year have a dramatic impact on outbound Chinese investment.” These mostly involve “a loosening of regulations on the part of Chinese government departments, including the elimination of an approval requirement for investment in non-sensitive industries.”

The very existence of a TN-China Network here fostered by Rowland’s expertise in this field is perhaps the single strongest testament to Knoxville’s emergence as a center of China-related activity.

To read the full article, click here.

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“Chinese Companies Discover ET” – Knoxville News Sentinel

On September 6, 2015, Ed Marcum of the Knoxville News Sentinel wrote about recent Chinese investment in East Tennessee, including analysis from TN-China Network’s Executive Director.

Tennessee offers a number of advantages for Chinese companies, said Elizabeth Rowland, founder and executive director of the TN China Network. The cost of living is relatively low, as are energy costs.

“And specific to China, we have some strong industries in which China is looking to expand, such as advanced manufacturing, health care, medical devices, clean energy and research and development,” she said.

There are opportunities in Knoxville that could be promoted, Rowland said.

“A lot of Chinese companies would really welcome being able to locate in Cherokee Farm (Innovation Campus) and be able to have access to Oak Ridge and UT,” she said.

To read the whole article, click here.

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“Project Pengyou Works to Foster International Friendship” – The Daily Beacon

On August 26, 2015, Heidi Hill with The Daily Beacon wrote about the University of Tennessee-Knoxville (UTK) chapter of Project Pengyou, an organization with a mission to empower and mobilize a new generation of US-China bridge-builders and leaders. In the article, TN-China Network is highlighted as a supporter of Project Pengyou’s UTK chapter.

 “I found that there was a lot of more business here between Tennessee and China than I thought and a lot more than anyone knows about,” Rowland said. “That’s part of the problem — there’s no awareness of how developed the Tennessee-China relationship actually is. And there’s no platform for people for network.”


“There’s a lot going on right now, and that’s why I decided to create the Tennessee-China Network,” she said. “To help connect the dots”.

To read the full article, click here.

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Part 2: “TN-China Network designed to help Tennesseans” –

On April 9, 2015, in part two of this two-part article, Tom Ballard of profiled TN-China Network.

“There’s a lot of business going on between Tennessee and China, but not a lot of awareness or information sharing about it,” Rowland says. That’s where the TNCN organization and a possible [Knoxville-region international business council] come into play.

“The TN-China Network brings together people and resources across Tennessee and China to strengthen business ties and enhance bilateral trade and investment,” Rowland says.

To read the full article, click here.

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Part 1: “Elizabeth Rowland Sees Big Business Opportunities in China” –

On April 8, 2015, in part one of this two-part article, Tom Ballard of profiled Elizabeth Rowland, Founder and Executive Director of TN-China Network.

Knoxville native Elizabeth Rowland is on a mission, and it’s all about maximizing international business opportunities in Tennessee, with a particular focus on China.

Rowland left Knoxville in 1997 to attend college and, with the exception of brief stints, she lived away from the community until returning a little more than a year ago. During her nearly 16 years away, including four years as owner of a small jewelry company that sourced from China and more than three years as a China policy analyst, Rowland developed a passion for international business and trade. She now wants to put her experience to use in her home state.

To read the full article, click here.

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