Clayton County development officials are to launch a trade center near HartsfieldJackson International Airport, including space for foreign trade offices and an international business incubator, in early 2004, according to Grant Wainscott, vice president of community development for the Clayton County Chamber of Commerce.

            The effort is part of a county initiative to improve economic ties around the world, with a particular emphasis on developing relationships with emerging economies, Mr. Wainscott told GlobalFax.

            “We haven’t focused on international trade promotion in recent years, but we’re now looking to capitalize on the airport, which is located in Clayton County, to bring international growth to the area,” he explained.

            He said that the chamber is in final talks with Hartsfield and Georgia Department of Industry, Trade and Tourism representatives to secure the use of a building that is currently under airport management.  He declined to specify the location, noting that negotiations are to be finalized by the end of the month.

            Clayton development authorities plan to market the trade center to trade ministries and companies in developing countries that don’t already have a presence in the Southeast, Mr. Wainscott added.

            “Most countries, if they’re considering opening a southeastern trade bureau, think to go to Miami first,” he said.  “But people are finding out more about Atlanta today and for those that are interested, we feel that a location near the world’s busiest airport has a lot of advantages.”

Initial marketing efforts for the new facility include a recent visit by Mr. Wainscott and several chamber members to the Czech Republic, Hungary and Romania to encourage trade officials in those countries to open offices in the new center.

For additional information, contact Mr. Wainscott at (678) 610-4021.