Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed will travel to China from March 23-31, 2012 on a trade mission to 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. More than 20 Atlanta businesses from industries including 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.
“For the past two years, one of my top priorities has been exploring and creating economic development opportunities to improve Atlanta’s position as a market for international trade and commerce,” said Mayor Reed. “I am confident that this trade mission to China will strengthen Atlanta’s position as an international city, expand opportunities for our businesses and foster job creation.”
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.
“One of Invest Atlanta’s main goals as the City of Atlanta’s official economic development agency is 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,” said 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.”
Members of the delegation include representatives from: Novelis, Dover Staffing, Carter & Associates, Georgia Power, Georgia Tech and Georgia State University.
Atlanta has many unique assets that make it an ideal platform for trade with China, including the world’s busiest airport, numerous tech clusters and the presence of dozens of foreign consulates. Mayor Reed said one of the keys to Atlanta’s ongoing recovery and job creation is to increase exports. China offers two tracks: exports and foreign direct investment. The strength of China’s economy led to a 32 percent increase in U.S. exports into China in 2010, making it the world’s third largest market for luxury goods.
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. Mayor Kasim Reed and the delegation are scheduled to travel to the following cities: Nanjing, Hangzhou, Guangzhou and Shenzhen.
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.