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Governor Perdue Departs for China on Delta Inaugural Flight

Leads Delegation on Economic Development Mission; Will Open Georgia Center in China | 03/30/2008

stateSeal2ATLANTA, March 30, 2008 – Governor Sonny Perdue departed from Atlanta today on Delta’s inaugural non-stop flight to Shanghai, China. Governor Perdue is leading a delegation of business, academic and government officials from Georgia on a week long economic development mission to Shanghai and Beijing.

“This is the first direct link to China from the Southeastern U.S., and the only nonstop link from the U.S. East Coast to Shanghai,” said Governor Sonny Perdue. “This is a great honor for our state, and for Delta, our hometown airline.”

Joining Governor Perdue for a press conference prior to the inaugural flight’s takeoff from Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport were the airport’s general manager, Ben DeCosta, and Delta’s executive vice president of sales and marketing, Lee Macenczak.

“As the airline serving more worldwide destinations than any other carrier, Delta is uniquely positioned to connect the commerce and culture of multiple regions of the world to and from China,” said Lee Macenczak, Delta’s executive vice president of sales and marketing. “This flight will establish Atlanta as a powerful new Chinese gateway by providing new connectivity and convenience for passengers from across the U.S., as well as Central and South America and the Caribbean.”

Traveling with Governor Perdue to China on this economic development mission are Secretary of State Karen Handel and a host of leaders from Georgia’s business and academic communities as well as other government officials. The delegation will first visit Shanghai and will then travel to Beijing where Governor Perdue will open Georgia’s Business Advisory Center.

China was Georgia’s second-largest export destination at $1.6 billion in 2007. Imports from China (including Hong Kong) flowing through the Port of Savannah totaled $13 billion. The Georgia U.S. Customs District ranked seventh among all U.S. districts for exports and imports with China (including Hong Kong), and second on the East Coast.

Several Chinese companies have located in Georgia in the last two years, including Kingwasong (a joint venture between Ningbo Lehui Food Machinery Co., Ltd. and New Jersey-based W.Y. Industries, Inc.) in Newnan; Hailun Piano in Atlanta; General Protecht Group in Barnesville; and Sany Heavy Industry Co., Ltd. in Peachtree City. Georgia companies besides Delta with operations in China include UPS, Home Depot, GE Energy and AFC Industries.

This mission marks Governor Perdue’s 14th international trip. For more information on Governor Perdue’s visit to China, including photographs and updates written by delegation members while in China, visit