The Atlanta office of the United Kingdom Trade and Investment agency will be pursuing Georgia life science and information technology companies to locate in the U.K. as a part of a five-year marketing initiative linked to the 2012 Olympics in London.

The U.K. is leveraging London’s status as the 2012 Olympic host city to attract knowledge-based foreign businesses to the country, said Alan Collins, British consul general in New York and director general of U.K. Trade and Investment in the U.S.

Mr. Collins spoke about the initiative during a March 9 business luncheon organized at the Capital City Club by the British American Business Group in Atlanta.

He said that American companies working in research and development and financial services would be targets for the initiative.

He also said that even though London has name recognition throughout the world, its status as an Olympic host is an opportunity for the entire country to attract business. It gives the U.K. an opportunity to market itself as a center for international business, he said.

“We want companies to know that coming to the U.K. positions them as a global company,” Mr. Collins said, explaining that the country’s proximity to mainland Europe and the Middle East make it an ideal starting point for American companies looking to enter the international market.

A diversity of languages spoken throughout the country and a substantial immigrant population with links to the Middle East and Asia are other reasons U.S. businesses might want to locate in the U.K., according to Glen Whitley, head of U.K. Trade and Investment in the Southeast.

In an interview with GlobalAtlanta after Mr. Collins’ visit, Mr. Whitley said that the Atlanta office of the agency would pursue Georgia life science and software companies at trade shows, in seminars and through universities as a result of the marketing initiative.

“We want to get the U.K. on the mind of Georgia businesses,” he said, adding that the U.K. was looking to attract such knowledge-based businesses, because R&D was strong in the country.

The country’s academic and research facilities, its low corporate taxation, its competitive employment costs and its developed system of protecting intellectual property rights make it attractive to potential investors, the U.K. Trade and Investment touts.

While U.K. Trade and Investment pursues knowledge-based companies and markets the U.K. as a destination for global companies, the Atlanta branch of the British American Business Group will also offer more internationally oriented business seminars, according to its incoming president Harriet Hoskyns-Abrahall.

The group, which promotes business between the Southeast U.S. and the U.K., will work more closely with other bi-national chambers in Atlanta, Ms. Hoskyns-Abrahall said. The BABG held its first joint seminar with the Georgia-Indo American Chamber March 19 [see related story]. The seminar focused on the acquisition of a U.K.-based insurance industry company by an Indian information technology business.

Story Contacts, Links and Related Stories
BABG – (404) 681-2224

United Kingdom Trade and Investment – Glenn Whitley

British-American Group, Indo Chamber Hold First Joint Meeting