Kathe Falls, director of international trade at the Georgia Department of Economic Development, accepted the “E-Star”Award for excellence in exporting that was presented by President Bush to the state’s economic development office.

U.S. Department of Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez and President Bush presented Ms. Falls and Rick Martin, assistant director of international trade, with the award in Washington.

The award is the highest honor the federal government can give an American exporting organization, and the department was one of only three entities- and the only public agency- nationwide to receive the “E Star” award this year.

The department was recognized for starting an integrated partnership with other export-oriented federal, state and local agencies including the U.S. Export Assistance office in Atlanta.

Under the partnership, USEAC and the Georgia department have helped Georgia’s small-to medium-size companies export more products in a shorter period of time, generating about 95 export successes in fiscal year 2006.

By working collaboratively through a multi-agency network, government resources are conserved, duplicate export services are eliminated and Georgia companies profit from more accessible international trade opportunities, according to a statement released by the economic development department.

U.S. Export Assistance centers are a part of the U.S. Commercial Service agency of the commerce department. More than 100 export assistance centers exist throughout the U.S., and they are linked to the agency’s more than 150 international offices in over 80 countries.

For more information on the U.S. Commercial Service, please visit www.export.gov.

For more information on the Georgia department, visit http://www.georgia.org/AboutUs/AboutGDEcD.htm

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