International Businesses in the Charlotte Region

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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. To purchase a database of foreign-owned firms, visit our online store.

Charlotte’s rich economic base, strengthened by diverse industries, attracts foreign-owned companies and valuable employees. For foreign-owned firms in particular, Charlotte offers exceptional air service, foreign trade zones, transparent government and business practices, and numerous nonprofit organizations that focus on international business, foreign policy and global culture.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg is home to the honorary consuls of Estonia, France, Germany, Guatemala, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Mexico, Moldova, Nicaragua, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. The Charlotte Foreign Trade Zone, which allows goods to be imported from overseas duty free and stored or manufactured into a product, is one of the largest in the state.

Charlotte is America’s second-largest financial center, home to the world headquarters of Bank of America, the nation’s second-largest bank. Bank of America operates in hundreds of cities in 43 countries, including the financial capitals of Frankfurt, Hong Kong, London, Mexico City, Milan, Paris, Seoul, Singapore, Taipei, Tokyo and Zurich.

High Quality of Life
Charlotte offers a high quality of life, offering below-average cost of living, world-class arts, major league sports, diverse housing options and world-class education. With such a great foundation for growth, companies operating in Charlotte successfully recruit talent from all regions of the U.S. and from around the world. Approximately 14 percent of Charlotte-Mecklenburg residents were born outside of the United States.

Emphasis on Education

Charlotte’s future strength lies in its excellent education system. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools (CMS) supports and encourages cultural and foreign-language education in its 164 schools. The Carolina International School is located just outside of Charlotte in Cabarrus County. Many of the colleges and universities in the Carolinas are recognized for their excellence. Outside of traditional programs, local schools such as Central Piedmont Community College and UNC Charlotte operate workforce development programs. The local workforce development board, CharlotteWorks, proactively works with new and existing employers to fill open positions, often through job training CMS operates four language immersion schools with programs in German, French, Mandarin Chinese, and Spanish.

There are also nine private international schools that help students maintain language skills and identities of the following cultures:
• British
• Chinese
• German
• Greek
• Japanese
• Korean
• Russian
• Swedish

Country Firms Locations Employees
Germany 209 241 17,020
United Kingdom 118 163 6,585
Canada 101 119 5,384
Japan 80 89 6,268
France 57 67 4,304
Switzerland 57 67 3,395
Italy 51 52 2,242
The Netherlands 50 59 3,767
China 44 44 1,569
Sweden 38 49 3,161
Ireland 21 28 3,728
Australia 18 22 793
India 18 16 173
Belgium 15 15 365
Other 141 162 7,431
Grand Total 1,018 1,193 66,185