Gov. Sonny Perdue and a delegation of state officials are visiting China this week to represent Georgia at an Aug. 5-7 conference in Jinan, Shandong province, on resource conservation and health care.

The Regional Leaders Conference is an alliance founded in 2002 that brings together worldwide leaders to share expertise on items of mutual interest. 

Georgia is the newest member of the alliance, which meets every two years.  Other member regions come from Austria, Brazil, Canada, China, Germany and South Africa.

Mr. Perdue will be holding bilateral meetings with some of these regional representatives on Wednesday.

The actual conference will begin Thursday, at which Mr. Perdue will discuss Georgia’s efforts to conserve energy and promote health care.

He will talk about “Conserve Georgia,” an environmental program he implemented in April to create a “culture of conservation” in the state.  He’ll also outline the efforts of the Energy Innovation Center, created this year in Atlanta to help the state capitalize on its potential in the bioenergy industry.

In promoting the state’s health care initiatives, Mr. Perdue will invite delegates to participate in the 2009 BIO International Convention, which will be held in Atlanta.

The yearly convention attracts life sciences professionals from all over the world.

During the 2008 convention in San Diego, Calif., Mr. Perdue announced Atlanta’s selection as the site for a new National Health Museum.

Officials told GlobalAtlanta at the time that the announcement crowned the achievements of the state’s bioscience industry, ranked 7th by accounting firm Ernst & Young.  

The trip is Mr. Perdue’s 15th internationally and second to China in four months.  He took the inaugural Delta Air Lines Inc. flight to Shanghai in late March to kick off the state’s first business mission in the Asian nation.

During that visit, he opened the state’s economic development office in Beijing to further promote a bilateral relationship that accounted for $17 billion in two-way trade in 2006. China was the state’s second-largest export destination in 2007.

Mr. Perdue also called on companies interested in starting operations in Georgia and promoted educational collaboration between China and the state.

Georgia officials accompanying Mr. Perdue are Kathe Falls, the state’s international trade director; Chris Clark, executive director of the Georgia Environmental Facilities Authority; Rhonda Medows, commissioner of the Georgia Department of Community Health and Hannah Heck, director of policy for the governor’s office.

Kevin Fletcher, vice president of community and economic development for Georgia Power, is also on the trip.


As managing editor of Global Atlanta, Trevor has spent 15+ years reporting on Atlanta’s ties with the world. An avid traveler, he has undertaken trips to 30+ countries to uncover stories on the perils...