The Swedish-American Chamber of Commerce-Georgia and GlobalAtlanta co-hosted a party in Savannah Jan. 24 to kick off statewide expansions, both of which will start in the port city.
SACC-Atlanta recently changed its name to SACC-Georgia, principally to reflect its inclusion of Savannah, which has been the epicenter of a burgeoning Georgia-Sweden relationship that has produced a flow of entrepreneurial activity between the two locales.
Chamber Chairman Tom Rosseland and Executive Director Mee Linden both offered remarks praising event sponsors and the businesspeople from Savannah and Sweden who created the economic interaction necessitating the chamber’s expansion.
Both Mr. Rosseland and Ms. Linden also stirred up the audience in anticipation of Entrepreneurial Days, a U.S.-Sweden business conference held twice a year, once in each country. Savannah will host the conference in spring 2009, and SACC-Georgia will be largely responsible for its agenda.
GlobalAtlanta, which has been covering international business news as it relates to Atlanta and Georgia for nearly 15 years, will soon expand its international business calendar and Web site to offer GlobalSavannah.com in recognition of Savannah’s increasing prominence in the global economy as a center for innovation, higher education and the home of the nation’s fastest-growing port.
Included among the more than 50 attendees at the Pei Ling Chan Gallery downtown was a three-person logistics delegation from Sweden who had come to tour the Savannah port and learn from its operation.
Arnt Moller Pedersen, a Dane and a representative of the Copenhagen-MalmÃ¶ Port, a joint port operated between the capital of Denmark and MalmÃ¶, a southern Swedish city, told the audience that the delegation was impressed by the Savannah port’s size, scope and efficiency.
While he noted that his delegation could learn much from Savannah, he said there was opportunity for his port’s expertise to benefit Georgia as well.
“There is an ocean of water between us, but there’s also an ocean of opportunity between us,” Mr. Moller Pedersen said, citing security as one of Savannah’s strong suits and environmental efficiency as an area where the his port could lend some knowledge to Georgia.
Ms. Linden also announced that Digitus Biometrics Inc., a Savannah-based provider of secure access control technology, has established itself as SACC-Georgia’s first Savannah member.
The company’s systems have already been installed in an incubator in Vaxjo, Sweden, and company representatives attended last year’s fall Entrepreneurial Days conference Vaxjo and Malmo.
Chuck Stallworth, who heads the Creative Coast Alliance, told the crowd in his remarks that he plans to attend the upcoming Entrepreneurial Days conference in San Diego, and he made it clear to chamber officials that he would do his best to help prepare Savannah for the 2009 conference.
The Alliance is a relatively new organization formed by the fusion the Creative Coast Initiative, an organization focused on attracting knowledge-based businesses to Savannah, and the Coastal Business, Education and Technology Alliance, known as cBETA, which provided professional development and networking opportunities to complement the Initiative’s efforts.