Italy should have a consulate general in Atlanta because of the growing interest of Italian companies in Georgia due to the state’s steady economic growth and the importance of its ports for goods destined for Europe, according to Giuseppe Morabito, Italy’s Miami-based consul general for the Southeast.

          “Goods to Europe from Georgia go through Italian harbors,” Dr. Morabito told attendees at the 27th Atlanta Roundtable held on Jan. 25 at the World Trade Center downtown. He also encouraged the development of new cultural and educational exchanges.

          Dr. Morabito assumed his current position last year and the visit marked his first time to come to Atlanta where he also met with Gov. Roy Barnes.

Italy, he said, is only ranked 12th among nations as a foreign investor in Georgia, but added that he anticipated Italian companies would become more active in the near future.

He did not mention press reports that a facility in the Floyd County Industrial Park in Rome may become home of the North American headquarters of Pirelli Tires, an investment that could represent some $140 million of investment in the next three years.

          He also encouraged Georgia companies to investigate investment incentives for operating in Italy and underlined the capabilities of some of Italy’s research centers.

          Dr. Morabito may be reached by calling (305) 374-6322 or by sending an e-mail to