Most of the new investments in metro Atlanta during the first three months of 2012 came from companies based overseas, the Metro Atlanta Chamber announced April 17.

Ten of 17 locations or expansions came from foreign companies or U.S. firms moving operations back to the states, according to the chamber’s quarterly business recruitment email update.

European firms accounted for much of the activity, with energy, technology and health care companies leading the way.

China also came back on the radar.

Georgia-based Custom Molded Products Inc. decided to move manufacturing operations from the Asian nation back to the U.S., bringing up to 50 jobs to Newnan.

During Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed‘s March trip to China, UN Forklift said it would open a small sales and distribution office in McDonough, creating about 15 jobs. The company has 2,000 employees around the world.

Other deals:

-Japan‘s Panasonic Automotive Systems Company of America will put a new R&D center at Georgia Tech‘s Technology Square campus, employing 100 people working on automotive navigation and entertainment systems.

-Switzerland‘s SolarMax, which makes grid-connected solar inverters and has operations in Europe and China, will enter the U.S. market through Atlanta. It is expected to hire 50 people in Fulton County.

-Universal Environmental Services, a subsidiary of Germany‘s Avista Oil AG, is building a facility to reprocess used motor oil. The facility will be unique to the Southeast. It is expected to open in 2013 and is to create 40 jobs.

-Air France began twice-weekly cargo service to Atlanta, which airport executives calculate will have an 8-$12 million impact on the metro area, creating 25 jobs.

-Canada‘s Imperial Manufacturing Group, which makes heating and air conditioning products, will put a new facility in the city of Atlanta, hiring up to 20 by the end of the year.

-France’s Coviva, a health-care IT company that makes an online system for providers to promote services to families, will put its first U.S. office in Roswell, creating a projected 10 jobs.

-Another Swiss firm, I.J. Martin & Co. Ltd., is opening an office in Woodstockto promote its executive coaching and mentoring services in the U.S. market, creating 10 jobs.

Sweden‘s Paxxo AB, which makes earth-friendly trash bags, is putting a distribution base in Newnan, hiring seven workers. 

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As managing editor of Global Atlanta, Trevor has spent 15+ years reporting on Atlanta’s ties with the world. An avid traveler, he has undertaken trips to 30+ countries to uncover stories on the perils...