Georgia’s competitiveness in the global marketplace is strengthened by the work of its international representatives across the globe. The state of Georgia has representation in Brazil, Canada, China, Chile, Colombia, Europe, Israel, Japan, Korea, Mexico, the United Kingdom and Ireland. Nineteen representatives from these 11 strategic markets convened in Georgia March 12-17 for our annual International Representatives week. The week consisted of meetings with the Georgia business community, internal training and best practices sessions, the 2017 Go Global Reception at the Atlanta History Center, a regional visit to Northwest Georgia and more.
On March 13th, the international representatives attended the Georgia Economic Developers Association Small Business Rock Stars Luncheon, to learn more about the significant impact of small business on Georgia’s economy. Four companies in Georgia were recognized for being an outstanding, unique and impactful small business. Several of the Rock Stars are also active exporters, finding new markets all around the world.
The 2017 Go Global Reception, held on March 14th, was an occasion for companies to network with Georgia’s international representatives, and to recognize exporters statewide, with remarks from Governor Deal, Commissioner Wilson, and Deputy Commissioner Mary Waters. Governor and First Lady Deal presented 24 businesses with GLOBE (Georgia Launching Opportunities By Exporting) Awards, in recognition of their success in entering new export markets in calendar year 2016.
Collectively, these companies entered 129 countries in 2016. Top export markets among winners include Australia, Japan, Latin America and the United Kingdom.
Thursday brought a chance to visit Hall County in Northeast Georgia for a tour of the Georgia Poultry Lab Network, a visit to Jaemor Farms hosted by the University of North Georgia and Lanier Technical College, as well as a visit to Kubota Manufacturing of America Corporation. Kubota has had a presence in Gainesville since 1988 and recently invested over $100 million to expand its headquarters there. This is a testament to Georgia’s growing international business presence, and was a fantastic chance for the international representatives to experience firsthand an exceptional international success story in the state.
We also unveiled our brand new Interactive International Trade Map. The map offers a quick and user-friendly way to explore trade statistics for Georgia’s 11 international office locations and other top export markets around the globe. Users can click on the highlighted countries and territories to see total trade, total exports, top 5 products and the export ranking for each.
We had an incredible week hosting our International representatives, and we look forward to another year of economic development successes!