In late March, Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue will lead a business mission to China, and the state is looking to attract representatives from more small- to medium-sized businesses for the trip.

The governor and his delegation will travel on Delta Air Lines Inc.’s inaugural flight to Shanghai, China, before heading to Beijing to begin the mission, which will feature the long-awaited formal opening of Georgia’s economic development office in the Chinese capital.

As of Feb. 1, registrants for the trip are about evenly split between small- to medium-sized companies and communities or universities, according to Alison Tyrer, a Georgia Department of Economic Development spokeswoman.

Ms. Tyrer said that while the department is pleased with the current registration numbers, the state has reserved enough hotel rooms to accommodate more attendees.

But with a sign-up deadline of Friday, Feb. 8, time is short to register.

During the April 1-4 trip, participants will be able to meet with the staff of the new state office, network with Chinese businesspeople at numerous receptions, visit Olympic venues and explore a culture vastly different from America.

And for business’ sake, it doesn’t hurt to be traveling with top government leaders, Ms. Tyrer said.

“It’s always, of course, high-profile to be there with a trip that the governor’s on,” she told GlobalAtlanta, saying that an official delegation gives companies access to contacts they wouldn’t have on their own.

Ms. Tyrer also urged companies to think about employing the U.S. Export Assistance Center’s Gold Key service, which helps pair American companies with overseas prospects.

This service costs $685 for the first day and $340 per day for additional days.

Included in the $2,195 cost of the trip are three nights in Beijing’s Ritz-Carlton hotel, two breakfasts, a night function, event transportation, an Olympic facilities tour, a briefing book and a webinar.

Airfare, transfers and visas are not included.

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...