GA Trade Nov-Dec interactive - page 32

G
eorgia – just reading the name
evokes images that have long
characterized the Peach State’s
undeniable charm.We begin to hear
Ray Charles’ smooth voice remind us
that all roads lead back toGeorgia,
and the iconic image of Scarlett
O’Hara in the arms of Rhett Butler
transport us back to aworld “gone
with thewind”. But it’s not all cotton
and romance; the state’s famous red
clay has also played stage tomoments
that have changed the course of
American history and left theirmark
onnational culture. Today, all minds
are once again onGeorgia, but this
time as a fertile region for thriving
business, makingGeorgia synony-
mouswith economic success. Having
steadily gained popularity in the
international business
world over the
past few decades, Georgia has
ultimately come to take its place as
the undeniable economic power house
of theAmerican southeast, the fastest
growing business region inAmerica.
TheNo.1 Place toDo Business
This claim to fame isn’t just smoke
andmirrors.Within the past year,
Georgiawas voted theNo. 1 place to
do businessmultiple times. In late
2013, Site SelectionMagazine named
Georgia the statewith the best
business climate according to its
annual ranking of states’ attractive-
ness to corporate facility investors.
This top rankingwas followed by
another in 2014whenCNBCnamed
Georgia theNo. 1 place for
business in the nation, an
impressive jump from its
No. 8 ranking in 2013.
Last but not least,
Georgia recently unseat-
ed Texas for theNo. 1 spot on
AreaDevelopmentMaga-
zine’s list of top places to do
business in the U.S., a ranking
based on business environment
and labor climate, aswell as infra-
structure and global access.
German Investment
With over 400 German subsidiaries
operating across the state, including
top names like BASF, SAP, and
Siemens, many German companies
have already recognized the benefits
of Georgia’s business-friendly
climate. Awide range of industries
thrive here, including automotive;
logistics and transportation;
aerospace; IT; medicine and bio-
technology; tourism; renewable
energies; andmost recently film. It
can therefore come as no surprise
that 17 Fortune 500 companies have
their headquarters in the Peach
State, including CNN, Coca-Cola,
Delta Airlines, Home Depot and
UPS. These giants are joined by
more than 3,000 international
companies from various industries,
with foreign direct investment
experiencing a 27% increase during
the last fiscal year. According to the
Georgia Department of Economic
Development (GDEcD), Germany
ranks first among foreign countries
in the number of facilities they have
in Georgia with a total of 481
locations, nearly one-third of which
are manufacturing operations. These
companies include names like
ElringKlinger, Wika, and ZF Fried-
richshafen and employmore than
20,000 Georgians. Germany is also
one of Georgia’s top 5 investor
nations; in 2014 alone, German
investment reached into the double
digit millions due to planned facility
expansions from companies like
Kautex Textron and Gerresheimer,
which should also create over 100
new jobs.
Georgia
Everything’s Coming up Peaches
S T A T E S P E C I A L
byHannahWeinrich, ContributingWriter
Georgia Facts
Capital:
Atlanta
Population:
9.9million
No. of German facilities:
481
German Trade:
$11.5 billion
Major Industries:
Aerospace,
Agribusiness, Automotive, IT,
Energy and Environment, Life
Sciences, Logistics & Transportation,
Manufacturing, Tourism
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GermanAmerican TradeNov/Dec 2014
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