Georgia’s competitiveness in the global marketplace is continuously strengthened by the work of its international representatives across the globe. The state of Georgia has representation in 12 strategic markets including Brazil, Canada, China, Chile, Colombia, Europe, Israel, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Peru, the United Kingdom and Ireland. The state’s international representation directly contributes to the state’s success as a global business hub. There are currently more than 3,000 international facilities from 60 different countries that employ 150,000 Georgians. Last year, Georgia companies sold $37 billion worth of products to 215 different countries and territories worldwide – 67% of those exports went to countries where Georgia has representation.
Eighteen representatives from Georgia’s international offices convened in Atlanta last week for their annual visit to Georgia. The week consisted of meetings with the Georgia businesses and community stakeholders, internal training, project update sessions, a regional visit to West Georgia and attendance at the 2018 Go Global Reception.
The international representatives started the week off at the Georgia Economic Developers Association (GEDA) Small Business ROCK Stars Luncheon to learn more about the significant impact of small businesses on Georgia’s economy. Four companies in Georgia were recognized as outstanding, unique and impactful small businesses: AKESOgen, Inc., STRAND Clinical Technologies, Gottwals Books and SouthLife Supply Co. Several of this year’s ROCK Stars nominees are active exporters, selling their product into markets all around the world.
The 2018 Go Global Reception and 5th Annual GLOBE Awards held at the Atlanta History Center was an occasion for companies to network with Georgia’s international representatives as well as recognize exporters statewide. Remarks from both Governor Deal and Commissioner Wilson highlighted Georgia’s record-breaking trade numbers released earlier this year as well as the importance of the state as a global logistics hub that connects Georgia business with the world.
At the Go Global event, Governor Deal also honored 40 businesses with GLOBE (Georgia Launching Opportunities By Exporting) Awards, in recognition of their success entering new export markets during the 2017 calendar year. This year’s GLOBE Winners are located across the state with employment ranging from 2-4000. Collectively, these companies expanded their sales into 84 new countries and territories in 2017. Top export markets among winners include Colombia, Canada and the United Kingdom. Six of the 2018 GLOBE winners were first time exporters.
Earlier that day the international representatives joined Governor Deal in celebration of International Day at the Georgia State Capitol. The event brought together the state’s Consular Corps, State Legislators, and Georgia’s language education community to highlight the significance of global engagement to Georgia’s economy.
On Wednesday the reps spent the day meeting with Georgia businesses interested in growing their international sales. Coordinated by GDEcD’s Trade Division, these one-on-one meetings provide an opportunity for the international reps to learn more about each company’s current export strategy and create a plan to help them better understand the target market and make connections with potential in-country partners.
Thursday offered an opportunity for the reps to experience communities outside of Atlanta with a visit to West Georgia. The day began with a tour of Aventure Aviation, an aviation parts supplier located in Fayette County. Aventure Aviation is one of Georgia’s most active exporters and one of this year’s GLOBE Award Winners. The company has actively worked with GDEcD’s Trade Team for nearly 10 years to expand into more than seven new international markets.
The international representatives enjoyed a tour of Hills and Dales Estates in LaGrange, Georgia followed by lunch at the historic home of Georgia textile mogul Fuller E. Callaway. The afternoon included a visit to West Georgia Technical College where the group toured the school’s Advanced Manufacturing Lab followed by a presentation on economic development in the LaGrange Community. The reps also had the opportunity to visit Kia Motors Manufacturing of Georgia (KMMG) in West Point. The company’s first manufacturing site in North America, the West Point KIA facility is responsible for more than $1.2 of investment and 3,000 jobs created in the state. KMMG is a testament to Georgia’s growing international business presence and presented an opportunity for the international representatives to experience firsthand an exceptional international success story in the state. The West Georgia tour ended with an evening reception with community leaders sponsored by the Development Authority of LaGrange.
The international representatives rounded out their week with breakfast at the Governor’s Mansion on Friday morning followed by a luncheon at Red Brick Brewing another home-grown Georgia business that has taken its success international. The brewery began working with GDEcD in 2013 while planning their first export to Italy. They now sell into six different countries and just last year launched a special white ale designed and produced exclusively for the Korean market.
Team Georgia had an incredible week hosting our international representatives and we look forward to another year of international success!
Interested in learning more about GDEcD’s international programs and services? Visit us at Georgia.org/Trade or contact our Trade Outreach Manager at firstname.lastname@example.org. And don’t forget to sign up for Trade’s monthly newsletter to stay informed about upcoming tradeshow opportunities.