The Gwinnett County Chamber of Commerce in Georgia recently sent a delegation on a 12-day trade mission to East Asia to meet with potential investors and other business partners. This mission coincided with the announced entry of several Asian companies into the county.
The delegates from the Chamber visited several cities in China including Shanghai, Guangzhou, and Nanjing as well as Seoul, South Korea from August 21 through September 1. The Chamber’s visit is part of an overall strategic push by the state of Georgia to increase investments into the state. In fact, during their visit, the delegation introduced John Ling, a new member of the Georgia Department of Economic Development to guide Georgia’s mission in attracting foreign direct investments from China. Mr. Ling has been credited with successfully attracting nearly half a billion dollars in investments to South Carolina.
At the same time, the delegates emphasized the strategic location of Gwinnett County in the southeastern United States. The region has been attracting new companies from Asia in the past few years, adding to the 600 international companies that already have operations in the county. These four new additions are bound to spur growth in the local economy by opening new factories in the county and creating at least 500 new jobs in the next decade.
The state of Georgia exports about 30% of its goods and services to Asia. Gwinnett County, which falls with Georgia’s 4th, 7th, and 10th congressional districts, exports at least $1.8 billion worth of goods to Asia. For all three districts, China is the top destination, exporting about $600 billion in goods.
Clarence Cabanero is a recent graduate from American University and is a Research Intern at the East West Center in Washington, DC.