Unlike Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin’s trip to China last year that focused on transportation routes, trade offices and consulates, the April 22-30 trade mission she is leading to Korea and Japan is to explore business opportunities and promote Atlanta as an investment location.

Ms. Franklin is to lead 20 Atlanta businesspersons to Seoul and Daegu, Korea, and Tokyo and Fukuoka, Japan. Some of the companies they are to visit include Sekisui Chemical Co. Ltd. and electronics company Panasonic Corp. in Tokyo, as well as SKC Corp., a media, entertainment and electronics group in Seoul. Some members of the delegation will also travel on to Taipei, Taiwan.

“The meetings in Daegu and Fukuoka will help to reinforce Atlanta’s commitment to creating partnerships with Sister Cities to foster new commercial linkages,” David Constant, international affairs program manager in the mayor’s office. Daegu has been one of Atlanta’s Sister Cities since 1981, and Fukuoka has been a Sister City since 2005.

Ms. Franklin said during a press conference before the flight on April 23 that besides discussing pressing urban issues such as traffic congestion and clean water during the trip, she would cite Atlanta’s commitment to sustainable development as shown in its support for the Beltline project that would provide a green corridor around the city.

Last fall, the mayor’s trip to China focused on securing a direct air route from Atlanta to Shanghai for Delta Air Lines Inc., requesting a Chinese consulate general for Atlanta and exploring opportunities for a Georgia representative office in Beijing.

The trip to Korea and Japan this week is more about business opportunities, according to a spokesperson the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce, which is an organizer of the mission.

Attendees on the trip include representatives of Bentley Investments Inc., China Professional Tours, City of Atlanta, Delta, Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu, Fayette County Development Authority, Galaxy Partners Inc., Georgia Department of Economic Development, Georgia Marble, Georgia Power Co., Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce, Han Capital Partners LLC, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, Haskell Slaughter & Young LLC, Jones Day, Korea-Southeast U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce, MHR International Inc., Panasonic Automotive Systems, Reece & Associates, Sachi Koto Communications Inc., Sekisui SPR Americas Inc. and SunTrust Bank.

Since Delta’s new nonstop flight to Seoul does not begin until June 4, the delegation flew Delta SkyTeam partner Korean Air nonstop to Seoul from Atlanta.

Story Contacts, Links and Related Stories
Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce – Tanya Dunne (404) 586-8474

Office of Mayor Shirley Franklin –
David Constant, international affairs program manager (404) 330-6762