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Georgia is growing globally
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Editor, It used to be that Georgia’s focus was on competing with other states for business, but today competition is global. That is why the Georgia Chamber of Commerce is working closely with our members and other business leaders around the state to increase Georgia’s global reach.
Recently, the Chamber’s International Programs Committee, along with the Valdosta and its Mayor John Fretti, hosted a summit, “Road to Recovery: Helping Georgia Businesses Identify and Bridge International Markets for Economic Growth.” The economic slowdown has been felt worldwide, but there are still emerging and growing international markets that Georgia companies are or should be targeting.
Valdosta is a good example of a community that understands international markets are key to economic growth. Valdosta is home to more than 17 global manufacturers who are part of the reason this area of South Georgia had economic growth in 2008.
The same efforts that are making Valdosta successful are being duplicated in other communities across the state with the assistance of the state’s Department of Economic Development. All of that was on display at the summit as attendees heard presentations from businesses succeeding in international trade, local government and community leaders building international relationships, and state leaders’ successes in marketing Georgia overseas. We know companies that sell overseas grow an average of 18 percent faster, and their work forces are typically 10 to 15 percent more productive than those that don’t.
Georgia is well-positioned to capitalize on its unique assets for attracting additional international investment. We can boast of the world’s busiest airport in Atlanta, the fastest growing port on the East Coast in Savannah, a convenient road and rail network for moving freight, world class research universities, a technical college system that is the envy of the country and a network of state trade offices operating in 10 countries around the world. Based upon these resources alone, it’s no surprise that Georgia is home to more than 2,500 internationally owned facilities representing 52 countries.
As the voice of Georgia business, the chamber wants to make sure businesses across the state understand the opportunities available overseas.

George Israel
President and CEO
Georgia Chamber of Commerce
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