A Georgia delegation left last week for Brazil and Chile to promote Atlanta’s bid for the Free Trade Areas of the Americas (FTAA) secretariat.  The group is to attend a business roundtable of the Organization of American States (OAS) in Santiago, Chile, where they will host a reception for roundtable participants.

            The visit coincides with the signing of the U.S.-Chile Free Trade Agreement, June 6, the first such pact between the United States and a South American country. The agreement has been under negotiation since the idea was first discussed at the FTAA Ministerial held in Miami in 1994.

            Kevin Langston, director of communications for Georgia Department of Industry, Trade and Tourism, told GlobalFax during a telephone interview that the June 3-10 trip was being made “to build relationships with government officials from all over the Americas and to talk about the benefits of Atlanta’s bid for the FTAA.”

            The delegation first visited Brasilia and Sao Paolo in Brazil and then Santiago, the capital of Chile, for the OAS’s general assembly meeting.

Representatives from the Atlanta Convention and Visitors Bureau, the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce and the Georgia Department of Industry, Trade & Tourism are participating. The delegation’s business attendees include representatives of BellSouth Corp., Equifax Inc. and CNN en Español.

Members of Atlanta’s FTAA organizing committee, including Brazil’s honorary consul here, Tim Perry, and David Bruce, a professor at Georgia State University, are also making the trip

For more information, Mr. Langston may be reached by calling (404) 651-8578 or by email to  HYPERLINK mailto:klangston@georgia.org klangston@georgia.org