Alfrex is one of the Korean firms expanding in Hall County.

Two Korean companies quietly expanded in Hall County over the past fiscal year, adding a combined $7 million in capital investment and 70 jobs in the North Georgia community.

Alfrex USA, which makes fireproof exterior building panels, spent $6.2 million and planned to hire 30 at a new North American headquarters and factory in Buford last October.

Dongwon Tech Corp., which makes HVAC ducting, planned to spend $700,000 and hire 40 at a new manufacturing center and sales office in Gainesville, according to the Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce’s annual economic development report.

Korean companies have flocked to Georgia, with many of them clustered in the western part of the state near the Kia Motors Manufacturing Georgia plant.

But their influence is spreading further afield: Gwinnett County — also the epicenter for Georgia’s Korean diaspora community, has 17 Korean investors employing more than 650 people, while Jackson County is now seeing the state’s largest single foreign investment project materialize: The $2.6 billion SK Innovation electric-vehicle battery plant, which has already begun to exert its own gravitational pull on suppliers from the country.

Hall County has long been a magnet for foreign investors, boasting 50 foreign companies from 15 countries. The trend continued during this fiscal year. Sweden-based Geveko Markings completed an 80,000-square-foot plant; Japan’s Kubota spent $85 million on yet another phase of growth, and Japan-based American Yazaki Corp., Czech Republic-based ALBAform and Germany‘s Boehringer Ingelheim all contributed to year in which the county 785 new jobs created on $267 million in capital investment.

Read the full report here.

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...

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