Georgia companies seeking to expand to a European location where they can find skilled workers in high-tech industries should consider Southwest England, according David Cotterill, regional development manager of South Western Electricity (SWEB).

      The presence of British Aerospace and Rolls Royce facilities in the region for some 70 years provided the foundation for the development of the workforce’s technical skills which now support a wide variety of high-tech and multimedia sectors, he told GlobalFax in a telephone interview from his office in Bristol last week.

      Already 40% of U.S. investment into Europe has been in the U.K. for many reasons including a common language and culture. But an added attraction of expanding to the Southwest England, he said, is that SWEB and Atlanta-based Southern Electric International have complementary economic development organizations which often work together.

      SEI acquired SWEB in 1995 and is owned by the Southern Co., the holding company for five electric utilities in the Southeast including Georgia Power.

      Mr. Cotterill touted his region’s strengths in the sectors of advanced engineering, telecommunications, biotechnology, software and banking and finance.

      He said his organization can provide assistance in meeting with appropriate state and national authorities, help develop financial incentive packages and provide introductions to the five universities in the region, which can assist with research and development projects.

      He also said that SWEB’s economic development group has information for his region similar to that of Georgia Power for the Southeast.  Its web site may be found at

      Mr. Cotterill is often in Atlanta and spoke at the Nexus Institute of International Corporate Development held at the Four Seasons Hotel here March 24-25.

      For more information, send him an e-mail to  His telephone number is +44 (0) 1454 452218; fax, +44(0) 1454 452238.

       by Mark Pierson