The British ambassador to the United States is visiting Atlanta this week, hosting timely meetings ahead of key exchanges illustrating the newly reinvigorated business ties between his country and Georgia.
Sir Kim Darroch‘s two-day trip, which includes a meeting with Gov. Nathan Deal, comes weeks after British aerospace supplier Meggitt and online retailer ASOS announced investment creating 200 and 1,600 jobs, respectively, in the state.
It also comes as new creative and tech-focused sectors are animating the traditional relationship with one of Georgia’s top investors and trading partners.
In October, representatives from the City of Atlanta will join private-sector players in London for the inaugural P20 summit, a payments-industry conclave aiming to enhance the regulatory environment for this keys future-facing sector. The event also seeks to underscore Atlanta and London’s continental leadership positions in financial technology while deepening their exchanges on this front.
“Atlanta is a valuable trading partner for the United Kingdom, from its rising prominence in FinTech to its excellent work in the creative industries. In fact, over 24,000 jobs are supported by exports to the U.K.,” Sir Kim said in a statement.
His visit also precedes an exchange of startups between Atlanta and the northeastern city of Newcastle, one of its 17 sister cities. Aided by business software firm Sage, which is based in Newcastle and has major presence here, Atlanta will host two startups from the city in October. Two Atlanta-based firms will reciprocate that visit in the following month. This comes after Atlanta also hosted a dozen female executives from the Northeast as part of the 2017 Northern Powerhouse female founders mission. Two companies from that same region of northern England — Skignz and Dream Agility — were selected for Coca-Cola Co.‘s The Bridge accelerator program.
The cities also boast strong cultural ties that are enjoying a resurgence. Atlanta Civil Rights icon Martin Luther King Jr. gave a speech in the city 50 years ago when accepting an honorary doctorate from Newcastle University.
Sir Kim will mark this anniversary while touring the Martin Luther King Jr. Center for Nonviolent Change in Atlanta this week, which is to be followed by a meeting with center director Bernice King.
The MLK connection helped lead to the sister-city ties between Atlanta and Newcastle. Also a contributing factor was the English city’s role as host to a 1970s delegation from the Atlanta-based Friendship Force, which 40 years later has blossomed into a major force facilitating global exchanges of students and travelers.
To learn more about the UK-Georgia trade relationship, read this U.K. government report.