Agribusiness has long been a dominant industry when it comes to international trade in Georgia. In fact, the state’s agricultural exports have tripled over the last decade. The Georgia Department of Economic Development’s (GDEcD) International Trade division offers a variety of free services for Georgia companies looking to sell their products and services overseas.
One particular service that has found a lot of success in the agribusiness industry is the incoming buyers program. GDEcD organizes frequent incoming buyer delegations, where Georgia companies can meet directly with international buyers in locations across the state. As Georgia’s largest industry with a diversity of consumer-oriented products, many Georgia companies find that their products align with what buyers are seeking.
Over the past few months, GDEcD has hosted incoming buyer delegations from China, Costa Rica, Mexico and Brazil. These delegations were interested in sourcing a variety of products—from cotton to fruit and nuts to retail and food service-related products. Each program included site visits around the state to learn more about these thriving subsectors of the agribusiness industry. For example, in preparing for a Chinese delegation interested in cotton, GDEcD worked with the Georgia Cotton Commission to host buyers at McCleskey Cotton Co. in Dawson for cotton gin and field tours. The delegations from Costa Rica and Mexico focused on retail and food service related products. GDEcD hosted the group in partnership with the Southern United States Trade Association (SUSTA) for one-on-one meetings and a tour of Signature Foods in Pendergrass.
Georgia companies gain valuable contacts through incoming buyer programs. A number of participants have signed agreements and have sold product as a result of these connections. The program serves as a great opportunity for Georgia companies to do international business in their own communities.
For more information on GDEcD’s international trade program, visit Georgia.org/trade.