A performance review of foreign trade offices and other economic development resources will be ready within 30 days, said Georgia’s new Economic Development Department commissioner, Craig Lesser, but a second quarter report shows which international markets are producing the most trade and investment for Georgia.

“We’re looking at this as any other business would, from the perspective of a return on our investment,” Mr. Lesser told GlobalAtlanta, who was formerly a partner in the firm of Griswold Lesser LLC, which provides counsel on public affairs issues.

In addition, Mr. Lesser previously served as vice president for governmental and regulatory affairs for Georgia Power Co. and as head of Atlanta-based Mirant Corp.’s New York operations.

Mr. Lesser said, however, that he is “committed to a renewal of partnerships in the world market.”

While decisions on the placement of foreign trade offices will be based on performance, Mr. Lesser said rapidly changing market conditions make it “important to stay attuned to what’s just ahead.”

Mr. Lesser replaced Glenn Cornell, who retired from the agency, formerly named Georgia Department of Industry, Trade and Tourism, on June 30 after serving 18 months as commissioner.

According to Kevin Langston, director of communications, the report reveals that of the 40 development projects announced during the second quarter, 13 are investments by international companies.

Mr. Langston said the investments come from companies based in Australia, Brazil, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Japan, South Korea, and the United Kingdom.

The companies include automotive and plastics manufacturers, food processors, data centers and warehouse operations. Fourteen of the 40 projects will locate or expand in Georgia’s least developed counties, which qualifies the companies for state tax credits.

The largest new financial investment was announced by Toyo Tire & Rubber Co. in Bartow County, according to Mr. Langston. The company plans to invest $392 million and create up to 900 new jobs over a three-phase project.

For more information, contact Mr. Langston at (404) 962-4006 or klangston@georgia.org.