March 23, 2012
ATLANTA – March 23, 2012 – Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed and a delegation of economic development officials from Invest Atlanta and Metro Atlanta Chamber leave today for China on a trade mission aimed at forging new ties and creating new opportunities for metro-area businesses. Specifically, the nine-day trade mission will encourage foreign direct investment in metropolitan Atlanta and help small-to-medium sized local businesses identify and grow their export opportunities with the world’s second-largest economy.
“This trade mission – my first to China – is vital to helping Atlanta compete for global business opportunities and maintain its position as the leading international city in the Southeast,” Mayor Reed said. “The delegation’s top priorities are to build relationships with Chinese business leaders and create economic ties that will strengthen our city as a market for international trade and commerce now and in the future.”
More than 20 Atlanta businesses from industries including aluminum production, civil engineering, commercial real estate, fiber optics, construction, private equity and architecture will join Invest Atlanta, the Metro Atlanta Chamber and Mayor Reed on his first trade mission to China. The delegation includes representatives from Ackerman & Co., All(n) 1 Security Services, Acsential, Atlanta City Council, BCBao & Associates, Carter, Dover Staffing, East West Bank, 4U Services d/b/a Stellar Services, Georgia Power, Enterprise Innovation Institute at Georgia Tech, Georgia State University, GreenbergFarrow, Jones Day, Novelis, HighLight Technologies, H.J. Russell Co., Lifestyle – USA, National Association of Chinese Americans, Ogletree Deakins, Pansophy Capital Partners LLC, TDC Systems Integration, Inc., Thomas USAF Group, LLC, and tvsdesign. Several Atlanta-based firms, including Coca-Cola and the Home Depot, will facilitate events at various times during the trade mission.
Mayor Kasim Reed and the delegation are scheduled to travel to the following cities: Shanghai, Nanjing, Hangzhou, Guangzhou and Shenzhen.
China represents Georgia’s second-largest export market. In 2010, Georgia exported $2.4 billion in goods to China, which is a 35.2 percent increase from 2009. More than 20 Chinese companies have operations in Georgia and employ roughly 240 people. China represents a wealth of opportunities for Atlanta companies in sectors, such as: architecture, construction, engineering, green building, professional services, energy (incl. renewable energy), chemicals, medical equipment, transportation, machinery, and education.
“Our trade mission to China will help the City of Atlanta and the entire metro area attain one of its main goals - to attract international trade and foreign direct investment,” said Brian McGowan, Invest Atlanta President and CEO. “We are committed to expanding Atlanta’s position as an international economic capital and are here to connect Atlanta-based companies with new business opportunities in China.”
"China is a very large market with phenomenal growth and abundant business opportunities for Atlanta companies,” added Hans Gant, Senior Vice President of Economic Development for the Metro Atlanta Chamber. “International trade leads to the type of quality jobs that we want to create here in metro Atlanta, and it makes our companies stronger in the global economy."
The city stops selected for this trip, which include key areas throughout Eastern China, were carefully chosen because of established networks and opportunities. The delegation will participate in roundtable meetings, plenary sessions with influential city and regional government officials, and other business-to-business matchmaking opportunities in each city, coordinated by the U.S. Foreign Commercial Service.
About Invest Atlanta
Invest Atlanta is the official economic development authority for the City of Atlanta. Its purpose is to strengthen Atlanta’s economy and global competitiveness in order to create increased opportunity and prosperity for the people of Atlanta.
Chaired by the Mayor of Atlanta, and governed by a nine-member board of directors, Invest Atlanta’s programs and initiatives focus on developing and fostering public/private partnerships to create jobs, grow the economy, revitalize neighborhoods, attract investment, spur innovation, and encourage entrepreneurship. To achieve these goals, Invest Atlanta leverages the benefits of bond financing, revolving loan funds, housing financing, tax increment financing (TIF), and tax credits.