Representatives From Georgia’s 12 International Offices Convene for 2023 Visit
The Georgia Department of Economic Development welcomed its representatives from the state’s international offices abroad for a weeklong visit to Georgia during the last week of April. They joined to connect and engage in-person with their colleagues and economic development partners from across the globe for the first time as a group since 2019.
Georgia’s competitiveness in the global marketplace is strengthened by the work of these representatives who are placed in 12 strategic markets, including Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Europe, Israel, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Peru, and the United Kingdom and Ireland.
Reps Visit 3The International Representatives connect Georgia businesses to in-market opportunities by providing customized export assistance and guidance, as well as assist foreign companies interested in establishing locations in the state. Georgia’s Japan and Europe offices were opened by then-Governor Jimmy Carter 50 years ago, and set the standard for global interactions and led to record investment and trade.
Last year, 52% of Georgia exports and 57% of Georgia’s total trade involved markets where Georgia maintains international representation, according to the 2022 Trade Report. Every county in the state exports goods, and small businesses make up 85% of Georgia’s exporters.
Over the course of the week, 22 representatives met with local communities and businesses during their journey from Atlanta to Savannah. The group connected with GDEcD’s Atlanta office for training and project update sessions and attended receptions hosted by Georgia EMC, the Metro Atlanta Chamber, Georgia Allies, and the Savannah Economic Development Authority (SEDA) and the Savannah Harbor-Interstate 16 Corridor Joint Development Authority during the trip.
“This week is like going to ‘Georgia school!’” — Penelope Kim, Korea Office
The state tour featured multiple industry visits, including companies that support a few of Georgia’s key exports such as automotive products.
Notable stops along the tour included:
JD Irving / Irving Consumer Products industry visit in Macon
In Macon, one of North America’s leading manufacturers of household paper products, Irving Tissue, has successfully expanded in the state multiple times, helping the company reach key markets to drive growth while also setting high standards for community involvement.
The business currently employs over 300 Georgians and over the last six years has invested nearly $1 billion into a community and state that have acted as a partner to this international business.
Dinex industry visit and driving tour of Dublin Willie Paulk Industrial Park
Denmark-based company Dinex hosted the representatives for a tour of their operations. Since locating in Dublin, Dinex has invested more than $6.5 million in machinery and equipment and its employment has grown to nearly 100 people. Manufacturing emission control equipment for OEM and aftermarket truck and heavy equipment brands, Dinex is a staple in Dublin-Laurens County’s automotive sector. The Dublin facility represents Dinex’s manufacturing presence in North America.
Before departing Dublin, the group also viewed the Georgia Highway 257 Rail Served Site and ADFORS/Saint-Gobain and Erdrich, both located on Willie Paulk Parkway.
Georgia Advanced Manufacturing Training Center in Pooler
At the Georgia Advanced Manufacturing Training Center, Georgia Quick Start’s latest training facility in the state, the representatives got an inside look at how the program provides customized training free-of-charge to qualified new, expanding, and existing businesses in the manufacturing industry. Various new electric vehicle related companies announced and under construction around the state are eligible to utilize Quick Start as a partner, including the nearby Hyundai Motor Group Metaplant America.
Georgia Ports Authority visit in Garden City
The group met with partners at the Georgia Ports Authority (GPA) for a tour of the Port of Savannah, the largest single-terminal container facility of its kind in North America. More than $174 billion in goods flowed through the Ports of Savannah and Brunswick in 2022, and GPA continues to invest in port capacity and infrastructure to maintain the port’s position as a global gateway. In February, GPA welcomed the largest ship-to-shore cranes on the East Coast at the Port of Savannah, and is planning $1.8 billion in investments in the ports this year.
Hyundai Motor Group in Savannah
In Bryan County, the Savannah Harbor-Interstate 16 Corridor Joint Development Authority (JDA) briefed the representatives about the Hyundai’s plans for its first dedicated electric vehicle (EV) and battery manufacturing facility in Georgia. As a sign of the state’s growing presence in international business and its position as a leader in the electric mobility industry, seven Tier-1 suppliers have announced investments in the EV ecosystem around the state since Hyundai’s May 2022 announcement. In the last three years, at least 38 EV investments have been announced in the state totaling over $21.9 billion in investment and creating more than 28,000 new jobs in Georgia.
When the tour concluded, representatives were equipped with enhanced knowledge and on the ground insights about Georgia, applying it as they continue to market the state to specific international audiences.
To learn more about GDEcD’s international programs and services, connect with the International Trade team at www.georgia.org/international/trade.