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Perdue slates trade trip to Asia

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POSTED: October 26, 2007 5:00 a.m.
Gov. Sonny Perdue has scheduled stops in Japan and Korea as part of a five-day economic development tour across Asia.
Kicking off on Sunday, the governor and a band of state delegates will join governors and senior officials from seven other southeastern states for the 31st annual SEUS-Japan Conference, scheduled to be held in Tokyo, Japan this year.
Created by former Gov. George Busbee in 1975, the SEUS-Japan Association exists to promoted trade, investment, educational and friendship ties between Japan and the states of Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia. Mississippi became the eighth state to join the partnership this year.
Japan is already Georgia's fifth-largest trade partner with nearly $1.1 billion in annual exports and seven Georgia cities have “sister-city” relationships with Japanese cities. The summit serves to reinforce these current ties and create new ones, according to Perdue.
“This conference highlights the strategic location the southeastern United States offers international companies looking to reach the U.S. market,” he said in a statement. “Sharing knowledge and strengthening our partnership with one of the world’s biggest economies benefits the entire region as well as our state.”
Following the visit to Tokyo, the governor will head to the Republic of Korea for a series of meetings with Kia Motors, potential and announced Kia suppliers and other companies in various fields.
With exports to Korea in 2006 totaling more than $382 million, the country ranks 12th among Georgia's export destinations.
Also, imports from Korea through the Savannah Customs District came to almost $3 billion and Korean capital investment in Georgia was more than $2 billion last year.
Perdue last visited the nation in March 2006 when he announced Kia would be establishing its first U.S. automotive manufacturing plant in West Point. The facility is now under construction and the company is planning to hire nearly 3,000 employees.
Georgia residents can follow the governor on his Asian tour by checking out the state’s missions Web site, www.StateofGeorgiaMissions.com. The site will be updated throughout the trip with press releases and photos.
Perdue said the tour, which ends Oct. 19, and the accompanying Web site will give Georgians an inside look at how state leaders are continuing the push to make Georgia a major player in today's global society.
“Business today requires that Georgia compete in the global marketplace, and this trip will help us extend the international relationships that have created jobs and investment here in our state,” he said. “This trip will strengthen our long-standing business connections with Japan and will continue to grow our emerging relationships in Korea.”
 

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