A trade visit to Canada by Georgia exporters in 2000 assisted in boosting the state’s exports to the country by $200 million last year, according to R.K. Seghal, commissioner of the Georgia Department of Industry, Trade and Tourism.

“Two years ago, we took a trade mission to Canada, talking about what we could do to increase Georgia’s exports, especially in the high tech fields,” Sehgal said in a statement last week.   As a result, Georgia companies exported $456 million in computers and electronics to Canada in 2001, a $187 million jump over the previous year, he said

He issued his comments following last week’s release of GDITT’s year-end export statistics that ranked Georgia 15th in the United States for exports, up a notch from the previous year’s ranking.

“The increase in trade is a continuation of a very positive trend that we’ve been watching for the past decade now,” said Robin MacNab, senior trade commissioner at the Canadian Consulate General in Atlanta. 

Canada’s exports to Georgia approximate its shipments to the United Kingdom, its fourth-largest international trading partner, he said, an indication of the importance of the Georgia-Canada trade relationship.

Mr. MacNab agreed that trade missions are the key to maintaining and growing such a relationship.  He pointed to the most recent trade mission to Georgia of companies and regional organizations from Atlantic-Canada as an example. He said he hopes a Georgia delegation will visit the region in the coming year.

He added that the consulate is working to bring representatives of biotechnology, food processing and information technology firms from the region north of Toronto in Ontario to Georgia in late April.

The total value of Georgia’s exports last year was $14.6 billion with Canada as Georgia’s largest trading partner, followed, in order, by Japan, Mexico, the UK and Germany.

For more information, contact Mr. MacNab at (404) 532-2010.  Contact GDITT at (404) 656-3545.