PART I: State of Georgia Profile
This "case study" series will be covered in five parts, listed below:
- Part I: State of Georgia Profile
- Part II: Georgia Department of Economic Development
- Part III:Interview with Peter Underwood, Senior Partner, IRC Limited and Managing Director, State of Georgia Korea Office
- Part IV:City of West Point, Saddling LaGrange and Troup Counties
- Part V: Conclusion
You can read my introduction here.
In the process of my research, I came across Georgia Global, the State of Georgia portal for information on supporting Georgia businesses in exporting to foreign markets and attracting FDI to Georgia communities. It is an excellent site and quite user friendly, listing contact information for global office representatives in several key countries, including Japan, China and South Korea in Northeast Asia.
Not just for my own benefit, but also for the benefit of my readers, I thought it would be interesting to interview the office director of South Korea to gain some additional insight into the world of trade and FDI at the state level. For most states, this is incredibly important and many states are often in competition with each other for FDI. As an economy within themselves, some states like California are larger than the economies of most foreign countries.
Before going into the interview, below are some key Georgia trade statistics to consider:
- Georgia exports to Northeast Asia--China/Taiwan, South Korea, Japan--account for 15.4% of all Georgia exports as of 2007. Although this is down from 16.1% in 2004 due to a further diversification in Georgia's export market portfolio, total value of exports to the region has increased from about $3.2 billion to about $3.6 billion.
- In comparison, for the United States as a whole, exports to the region account for 16.3% of total exports as of 2007.
- The below graph shows the trend in exports from Georgia to Northeast Asia:
As mentioned above, the below graph shows that the overall value of trade to Northeast Asia increased from 2004 to 2007, rebounding considerably from 2006 to 2007:
Obviously, the current financial crisis will have an impact on trade volumes from this year into 2009. To keep track of these statistics and for a number of general information and statistics on Georgia, a good start is with globalEdge. It mentions these additional Georgia statistics:
- Approximately 10,000 Georgia businesses export to overseas countries
- 85% of that 10,000 are small to medium enterprises (SMEs)
- Exported goods account for approximately $25.7 billion in inputs purchased within Georgian borders
- Foreign-owned businesses account for almost 200,000 jobs in Georgia
The above statistics indicate that Georgia manages a state economy highly integrated with the overall global economy and which has benefited from the added value of trade with foreign countries, including the benefits realized from FDI originating with a wide range of foreign firms. For reference, below is a Google Earth map of the State of Georgia, including surrounding states. Later I will discuss why Georgia's geography matters to foreign firms as Georgia seeks to attract continuing FDI from around the world: