North Carolina is a state in the southeastern region of the United States, located south of Virginia, west of Atlantic Ocean, and east of Tennessee. The state capital is Raleigh. Its metropolis is Charlotte, which is the 23rd-most populous city in the country and the largest banking center in the nation after New York City. The Charlotte metropolitan area is increasingly becoming a great investment location for Japanese companies. There are 80 such companies in the area, including NGK Ceramics USA, Seiren North America, HondaJet, Toshiba, etc. Among foreign countries investing in the State, Japan is ranked number 2 with $1.8B invested and more than 5,200 jobs created since 2007.
North Carolina is home to the second-largest state highway system in the United States and the largest ferry system on the east coast. The most popular Interstate Highways are I-40, I-85, and I-95. Charlotte Douglas International Airport is ranked as the 23rd busiest airport in the world and offers daily non-stop flights to both Tokyo and Osaka. The State also has Amtrak’s many passenger rail lines. Several cities are also served by mass transit systems. Just to name a few: the Charlotte Area Transit System (CATS) and Raleigh’s Capital Area Transit (CAT) both operate many bus and shuttle routs and also serve historical trolley lines, giving tours of the historic areas in these cities; and the Triangle Transit Authority operates buses that serve the Triangle region and connect to municipal bus systems in Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill.
Most of the state falls in a humid subtropical climate zone with short and mild winters. The western, mountainous part of the state has a subtropical highland climate. Heavy rainfall is experienced in the mountains and Mt. Mitchell receives an average winter snowfall of 50 inches. Raleigh's coldest month is January when the average temperature overnight is 29.6°F. July is the warmest month with the average daytime temperature of 89.1°F. Overall, the temperature typically varies from 33°F to 89°F and is rarely below 21°F or above 96°F.
The State is home to many well-known colleges and universities, including Duke University, Wake Forest University, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, Elon University, North Carolina State University-Raleigh, University of North Carolina-Wilmington, East Carolina University, etc.
Its geography provides a large range of recreational activities, from swimming at the beach, skiing in the mountains, to hiking the Appalachian Trail. It is a perfect state if you love nature and enjoy different activities that the four seasons have to offer. North Carolina also has theme parks, aquariums, museums, historic sites, lighthouses, elegant theaters, concert halls, and fine dining.
It is home to three major league sports franchises: the Carolina Panthers (football), the Charlotte Hornets (basketball), and the Carolina Hurricanes (hokey).
Charlotte is the second-largest banking center in the US (after New York), and is home to Bank of America. The Charlotte metro area is also home to 6 other Fortune 500 companies. The capital city of Raleigh is where SAS Institute (one of the world's largest privately held software companies) was founded.
The information and biotechnology industries have been steadily on the rise since the creation of the Research Triangle Park (RTP). It is home to more than 300 companies employing 55,000 workers and an additional 10,000 contractors, including the second largest IBM operation in the world.
The top 5 industries in the State are:
1. Aerospace, Aviation, and Defense
2. Automotive, Truck and Heavy Equipment
3. Biotechnology, Pharmaceuticals, and Life Sciences
5. Information and Communications Technology