While Georgia experienced a record year for exports in 2008, first quarter indications for the state’s exports this year remain positive although not as strong as last year, according to Christopher Smith, a Georgia attorney and honorary consul of Denmark.
Mr. Smith, who lives in Macon, spoke at the World Chamber of Commerce’s networking reception held July 30 at the Sunrise Bank of Atlanta, which drew more than 150 attendees.
He was the recipient of the World Trade Center Atlanta’s Governor’s International Award for Individual Contribution to the Community in 2007 and the 2008 recipient of the Danish American Chamber of Commerce’s Community Leader of the Year Award.
Citing U.S. Commerce Department figures, he said that Georgia’s exports totaled $27.5 billion in 2008, an increase of $4.2 billion above the $23.3 billion registered in 2007.
“The stats for Georgia for the first quarter of 2009 came in at $5.5 billion,” he said. “If this level holds, Georgia would export $22 billion in 2009.”
That figure, he added, would exceed Georgia exports for 2004-06 and would come close to the 2007 figure. “In the current economy, most businesses would be happy to exceed their sales figures for 2004-06,” he said. “So, Georgia exports are faring well.”
Georgia ranked 13th among U.S. states in exports in both 2008 and the first quarter of 2009, he said. In addition, he said Georgia’s exports to Central America and the Middle East were up the first quarter of 2009 versus the first quarter of 2008.
The top export markets for Georgia, he said, are Canada, China, Mexico, Japan, United Kingdom, Germany, Netherlands, Singapore, Brazil and Belgium in that order.
The top exported items, he added, are transportation equipment for the aerospace and automotive industries, machinery, chemicals, paper products, computers and electronics and processed foods.
He cited the state’s infrastructure including the port of Savannah, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport and Georgia’s interstate highway system as important factors in the state’s exporting success.
DeKalb State Court Judge Barbara Mobley also spoke at the event about the extent of human trafficking in Atlanta. A portion of the proceeds of the event are to go to the Juvenile Justice Fund, which provides shelter for children who have been abused or are homeless.
To learn more about the chamber, go to http://www.worldchamberc.org/
The Web site of the Juvenile Justice Fund is www.juvenilejusticefund.org
Mr. Smith may be reached by calling (478) 477-8145 or sending an email to email@example.com