The Southeast  should concentrate on developing trade with Latin America in an effort to raise its exports to national levels, Robert P. Forrestal, president and chief executive officer of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, said June 30.

Mr. Forrestal spoke at the first of a series of international business lectures sponsored by the College of Business Administration, Georgia State University.

  He said that the US has become more trade-oriented over the past 20 years, with imports doubling to nearly 15% of domestic demand and exports growing from about 7% to more than 12% of gross domestic product.  He added, however, that the Southeast exports some 20% less than the country as a whole, based on the number of export-related jobs in the region.

Citing increased demand in certain Latin American countries in the construction, transportation, communications, utilities, financial services, and wholesale and retail industries, he suggested that companies with “comparative advantages” in these areas look to “increased trade with our friends and neighbors to the south.”

For a copy of Mr. Forrestal’s remarks, call Keenan Conigland at (404) 521-8748.