If the Georgia Department of Economic Development‘s fiscal year 2011 figures are any indication, international business in the state is on the rise.

The department’s Global Commerce Division helped 403 companies relocate or expand in the state during the year ending June 30, resulting in 28,776 announced jobs and $5.97 billion in investment, increases of 29 percent and 32 percent, respectively.

A little more than one-third of the projects were new facilities by companies like Baxter International Inc., which announced in April it would invest $1.3 billion in a plasma products plant near Covington, creating 1,800 jobs. Caterpillar Inc. also said it plans to build a $200 million factory near Athens, starting with 800 workers but increasing to 1,400.

The remaining 64 percent of projects were expansions, including a Kia Motors investment that is to create 1,000 more jobs at its auto plant in West Point, which already accounts for some 10,000 jobs if parts suppliers are included. 

Foreign companies accounted for 29 percent of the year’s projects. Korean Kia suppliers Mando and Daewon America were among the firms pledging to invest millions of dollars and create hundreds of new jobs in the state, along with Denmark‘s Dinex Group, Japan‘s Kubota Industrial Equipment and Germany‘s Erdrich Umformtechnik.

Trade inquiries also saw a bump, with the department facilitating 311 export deals, 17 percent more than the previous year, and helping 1,111 companies with trade inquiries, an increase of 30 percent.

During the fiscal year, Gov. Nathan Deal led missions to China, Korea and Turkey. The state also has 10 international offices recruiting investment and assisting Georgia exporters.

For more information, visit www.georgia.org

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...