Foreign Firms in the Charlotte Region

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The dedication of Charlotte’s leadership to ensure the city’s place in the global economy can be seen in the number of foreign firms locating in the region. The Charlotte area boasts 958 foreign-owned firms that employ more than 69,000 people, and the number of firms continues to increase. The Charlotte Chamber actively works to attract international firms, working with more than 60 companies that decided to bring their businesses into Mecklenburg County over the past two years.

These 958 foreign-owned firms represent 795 different parent companies from 45 different countries. Germany, the United Kingdom, Canada, Japan and France have the largest number of companies in the Charlotte area, representing 57 percent of all foreign firms.

Nearly two-thirds of the area’s foreign firms are located solely in Mecklenburg County. There are 192 German-owned companies in Mecklenburg County – the most of any country. Since 2003, the number of German-owned firms has increased by 28 percent, Canadian by 30 percent and French by 50 percent. Indian and Irish firms have also significantly expanded in the area in the same time frame.

Research for Charlotte’s International Review is funded by the Charlotte Chamber. Included in this list are companies with at least 50 percent foreign ownership.

View an interactive map showing the region's foreign-owned firms here.

Note on methodology: The 2015 report’s methodology is different than previous reports (2011 and prior). The directory now combines all 16 counties into one listing instead of separating Mecklenburg County from the other counties. Due to this change, some numbers may not align with previous reports. To account for this change, the 2003 report was reanalyzed using current methodology in order to see trends.

Country 2015 2003
Germany 192 148
United Kingdom 120 74
Canada 92 69
Japan 81 51
France 61 38
Switzerland 55 40
Italy 51 43
The Netherlands 47 21
Sweden 35 32
China 33 3
Australia 20 4
Ireland 17 4
Belgium 14 12
India 14 4
Austria 13 3
Denmark 13 9
Taiwan 11 6
Mexico 9 5
South Korea 9 4
Brazil 8 2
Finland 7 5
Israel 6 1
Luxembourg 6 2
Bermuda 5 5
South Africa 5 6
Singapore 4 0
Spain 4 1
Czech Republic 3 1
Other (17) 23 11
Total 958 606