A Q&A with our new deputy commissioner for international trade Mary Waters

Mary-waters-2Why is international trade important and why should Georgia companies export?

International trade is important for many reasons, particularly job retention and creation. Exports create twice as many jobs as domestic trade. For every job created in manufacturing a product, another is created in getting the product to market. Additionally, exporting firms pay higher wages, grow faster and are less likely to go out of business than non-exporters. Georgia companies should export to gain more security in their respective industries by diversifying their markets. When Georgia companies thrive in the global marketplace, our state also thrives.

What kind of services does the Georgia Department of Economic Development offer to companies looking to export their products overseas?

Our core mission is to brand Georgia as an ideal source of quality goods and services. GDEcD offers a variety of services, many of which are free, to Georgia companies. These include Global Insight, which provides companies with the educational tools and market research to understand how to do business in particular markets, and Global Connections, which match Georgia suppliers with qualified international buyers through in-country matchmaking, trade shows and trade missions. Georgia also has international representatives located in 11 strategic global markets to further our message, and create export opportunities for our local companies.

How do you plan to grow Georgia’s exports in the future?

Georgia has had record-breaking exports for five consecutive years. In 2014, Georgia exports totaled $39.4 billion, making us the 11th-largest exporting state based on dollar value. This is a fantastic achievement, but we need to continue to promote the value and benefits of exporting to our small and mid-size businesses. Georgia utilizes a partnership approach to trade promotion, and incorporates our local, state and federal partners throughout the export process with Georgia companies. We will continue to expand our outreach so that companies in every Georgia county are aware of and able to take advantage of the award- winning trade services and resources available to them.

Contact GDEcD

For more information on Georgia’s public-private business partnerships, contact the Georgia Department of Economic Development at 404.962.4000.

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