March 28, 2012
ATLANTA – March 28, 2012 – Mayor Kasim Reed and the Atlanta delegation made their second city stop in China's southern capital, Nanjing, to build and strengthen key relationships with top business and government leaders, create export trade opportunities for Atlanta-based businesses, and encourage foreign direct investment in Atlanta by Chinese companies.
During the visit, Mayor Reed signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Nanjing Mayor Ji Jianye to further solidify mutual efforts to exchange and promote cooperation in economy, trade, science and technology, and other fields of mutual interests between the two cities. The MOU encourages businesses in Atlanta and Nanjing to invest in each other’s cities.
“It was a great privilege to host our Nanjing counterparts in Atlanta last year, and it was an even greater honor to receive an invitation to visit their city,” said Mayor Reed. “Our two cities have much in common as commercial centers, logistics hubs and Olympic hosts, and it makes basic sense for us to engage in ongoing and viable business partnerships.”
“Atlanta is opening its doors for global investment opportunities,” said Brian McGowan, CEO and President of Invest Atlanta. “We have a focused approach to international trade and foreign direct investment. Atlanta offers the right mix of strategic assets including its strong rail, sea, ground, air and technology infrastructure.”
The two-day visit to Nanjing began with the delegation participating in the Nanjing Business Cooperation Summit where they were welcomed by Vice Mayor Zheng Zeguang. The Atlanta business owners participated in discussions with Nanjing business leaders seeking to establish trade relations in the United States, especially the southeastern region. Both Nanjing and Atlanta are known as logistics hubs.
In 2011, the Metro Atlanta Chamber and its economic development partners recruited 32 companies with a foreign parent to locate or expand a facility in metro Atlanta, creating nearly 2,000 jobs. Metro Atlanta is home to approximately 2,800 foreign-owned facilities, employing more than 130,000 people. Among the top countries creating jobs were China.
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 (including renewable energy), chemicals, medical equipment, transportation, machinery and education.
"Mayor Reed and the delegation of Atlanta companies and partners are in Nanjing to foster stronger relationships between our two cities and our business communities. Relationships are critical for business in China,” said Ric Hubler, International Trade Development Director of the Metro Atlanta Chamber. “On our first day in Nanjing, Mayor Reed cemented those relationships and built significant goodwill with Mayor Ji, Vice Mayor Zheng and the Nanjing business community. These relationships could prove invaluable for Atlanta companies wishing to do business in Nanjing and for attracting Nanjing companies to Atlanta."
In addition to building key business relationships, the delegation visited Nanjing University to focus on university partnerships, which are critical to the talent base and workforce development. Nanjing University ranks in the country’s top five universities and has a relationship with Georgia State University.
Several members of the delegation visited various business sites as well as the Nanjing Museum of Urban Planning and Development.
Mayor Reed and the Atlanta delegation next visit the city of Hangzhou.
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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.