EAN International Consulting, an economic development consulting firm working with the Fulton County Development Authority, is exploring Atlanta’s trade opportunities with new entrants to the European Union. EAN International was hired by the development authority to facilitate international trade for Fulton County businesses.

This week Edward A. Nelson, the firm’s president and CEO, is attending the AGORADA 2004 conference in the Czech Republic. He will meet with the regional development agencies of the 10 countries recently accepted into the EU to establish relationships with small- to medium-sized companies.

“U.S. Department of Commerce statistics indicate that 97 percent of domestic exports are from small- and medium-sized businesses. Small- to medium-sized companies are the backbone of most economies, including Atlanta’s,” said Mr. Nelson.

Mr. Nelson served as president and CEO of the DeKalb County Chamber of Commerce from 1997-2002 and president of Fulton County’s Economic Development Corp. from 1990-1997.

EAN networks with economic development agencies in 15 international markets to facilitate relationships between domestic and international businesses. Working directly with government agencies that have a command of legal processes and access to company profiles reduces risks for businesses venturing into international markets, Mr. Nelson asserted.

“Their plans aren’t hindered by an incorrect interpretation of law or cultural expectations, because we’re dealing directly with people who know the system,” said Mr. Nelson.

EAN consulting services are available at no charge to businesses within Fulton County. Services are available to companies outside of Fulton County for a fee.

Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia were admitted to the EU on May 1.

For more information, contact Mr. Nelson at 770-256-5605 or eanjr@eaninternational.com.