Georgia acquired $1.6 billion of new foreign manufacturing investment in 1996, according to a study completed last week by the Georgia Department of Industry, Trade and Tourism (GDITT).

Seventeen new plants were established during the year, led by the Korean company  SKC Ltd.’s investment in a polyester film plant in Covington.  The SKC plant will generate 1,000 of the 1,763 new jobs created by foreign manufacturing investment last year.

Companies from Australia, Canada, Costa Rica, France, Germany, Japan, Korea, Switzerland and the U.K. were the main investors.

In addition, the study reports that 35 international companies invested $308 million to expand their manufacturing facilities already existing in Georgia, creating an additional 1,329 jobs.  Switzerland’s CIBA Vision led this expansion by adding 500 jobs.  Six German companies completed expansions, led by Wika Instrument Corp. in Lawrenceville with 200 jobs.

Nine Japanese companies expanded their facilities led by NACOM in Griffin and Yamaha in Newnan both with 150 jobs.  Companies from Australia, Belgium, Canada, France, Sweden, Taiwan and the U.K. also expanded their facilities.

During 1996, 13 non-manufacturing international businesses located in Georgia with Germany and the U.K. each having three, following by Japan with two and Australia, Denmark, Italy, the Netherlands and Taiwan each having one.

Cumulative investments, both manufacturing and non-manufacturing, through December 1996 totaled $13.6 billion, not including acquisitions and real estate holdings.

GDITT’s 1997 international facilities directory will be available in March for $5 by calling Mary Ingram at (404) 656-7728.