Alexander Mejia, the new vice president of government relations for Hemisphere Inc., will be helping to convince Latin American business and government officials that Atlanta is the best location for the Free Trade Area of the Americas Secretariat by hosting 14 delegations here this year.

Mr. Mejia, a native of Ecuador who recently moved here from Washington, will also escort Georgia’s governor and Atlanta’s mayor on visits to Latin American countries.

He joined the nonprofit organization leading Atlanta’s efforts to win the FTAA headquarters on April 1. He will focus on persuading foreign dignitaries visiting here, Latin American ambassadors in Washington and ministers of trade in Andean and Central American countries that Atlanta should be selected as the headquarters for the FTAA.

“The best sales people for Atlanta will be the corporate community here because they speak the same language of business that the visiting dignitaries and company representatives will want to hear,” Mr. Mejia told GlobalAtlanta during a reception at the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce last week.

“We will be bringing corporate officials here from Latin America, and that is the perfect time for Atlanta companies to do business and make connections, as well as to help Atlanta’s FTAA efforts,” he added. Mr. Mejia said Hemisphere Inc. plans to host 14 Latin American delegations here from May through December. He also said that the group plans to take at least five Atlanta delegations to Latin American countries before the end of the year, including at least three trips with Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue and two with Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin.

Mr. Mejia will personally travel to all Andean and Central American countries to present to each minister of trade Atlanta’s case for winning the FTAA Secretariat. He will also be spending two days each week through December in Washington to meet with foreign ambassadors.

Mr. Mejia most recently served as director of the Andean Program at the Inter-American Economic Council in Washington in 2003. He was previously executive vice president of the Chamber of Industries in Guayaquil, Ecuador, after serving as Economy and Finance Minister in the country’s cabinet in 2001. Contact Mr. Mejia at (404) 885-8703 or