Hemisphere Inc. director Jose Ignacio Gonzalez is to travel to Antigua, Guatemala and Mexico this month to gain support from business and government leaders in those countries for Atlanta’s Free Trade Area of the Americas secretariat bid.

He visited Central and South American ambassadors in Washington last week to discuss the city’s FTAA proposal, according to Susan Bruce, Hemisphere spokesperson. She declined to name the ambassadors or the countries they represent.

Georgia officials, including Mr. Gonzalez and Gov. Sonny Perdue, officially submitted Atlanta’s bid proposal to FTAA authorities, March 1, and unveiled it publicly later that day in a press conference at the State Capitol.

The document, presented in two volumes, highlights Atlanta’s strength as a corporate hub and as a transportation and distribution nucleus for the United States and Latin America.

“But our work is far from over,” said Mr. Gonzalez during the press conference, noting that he plans to visit all 34 FTAA countries in the coming months to ensure that Atlanta “remains on the map.”

He further highlighted the city’s hosting of three Latin America-focused conferences between now and June as a key opportunity to showcase the state to visiting delegations.

The SUMAQ conference, to be held at the Omni Hotel, May 5-7, will bring leaders and academic faculty members from universities throughout Latin America to Atlanta to discuss international business strategies for the region.

A second conference on doing business in the Americas, organized in cooperation with Washington’s Council of the Americas, is slated to bring trade ministers and trade representatives from 34 hemispheric countries to the city in May. The meeting was originally scheduled, March 24-27, but was pushed back to accommodate attendee agendas, said Ms. Bruce.

A third conference, which will address the effects of globalization on international markets and on developing economies, will be held in June, she added.

For more information, contact Ms. Bruce at (404) 885-8539.