The Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce in 2009 plans economic development missions across the globe, including Brazil, India, Germany, the United Kingdom, France and the Netherlands.
The chamber also plans trips to major U.S. cities such as Boston, New York, Chicago and San Francisco, said Sam A. Williams, president of the chamber.
“There is no doubt that these are challenging times, but Georgia’s economic development community is working together more closely than ever to recruit companies from all over the globe and create jobs,” Mr. Williams said.
Companies are “still incredibly interested in metro Atlanta and Georgia because of key competitive strengths that are hard for others to duplicate,” Mr. Williams said.
He cited as key assets Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, the merger of Delta Air Lines Inc. and Northwest Airlines Corp. to create the world’s largest airline, 57 colleges and universities and the fifth-highest concentration of Fortune 500 companies in the nation.
“We’re leading the nation in attracting the college-educated young professionals that every city and state are competing for,” said Mr. Williams.
On Dec. 16, Mr. Williams held a joint news conference about the state’s economic outlook with Ken Stewart, commissioner of the Georgia Department of Economic Development and George Israel, president of the Georgia Chamber of Commerce.
“We have an extensive and very professional economic development community in Georgia that is working tirelessly to bring jobs to our citizens,” Mr. Stewart said.
The state worked on 313 business location and expansion projects in 2008, Mr. Stewart said. NCR Corp., Toyo Tire, , Wendy’s/Arby’s Group Inc.and Telfair Forest Products are among those companies adding jobs, Mr. Stewart said. Kia Motors Corp. is scheduled to start production in 2009 at its new plant in West Point.
“The fact is that our state has strong assets upon which we will continue to build,” said Mr. Stewart. “I have no doubt that we will not only survive this recession but come out of it well positioned for growth.”