Georgia going global, will south Georgia businesses follow - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Georgia going global, will south Georgia businesses follow

January 10, 2007

Albany-  Helping Georgia businesses grow is also on the Governor's "Sonny Do" list. Perdue said if Georgia were its own country, our economy would rank 17th worldwide. The governor wants to continue that growth by attracting international business to the Peach State and launched a Global Georgia initiative to invest 5.1 million dollars to attract new business.

Last year Georgia held 31 trade missions in 23 countries. Georgia's Chamber of Commerce has 10 international offices. The Governor said he wants to grow Georgia globally and now some south Georgia businesses are finding out that may be the best way to expand their business.

For the last 28 years, Albany based Industrial manufacturing has only done business in the United States. This year that will change.

"Industrial manufacturing's main customers has been the U.S. since the early 90's, but to grow our business we feel that we must go internationally. Yes we have been successful in selling two of our Pro Con 5 machines to a customer in South Korea," said Wayne Gainey, International Sales.

The company's newest machine, the Pro Con 6 is being built specifically for the international market using the metric system and international controls. They're not the only ones, Miller Brewing's parent company is based in South Africa and Procter and Gamble does business internationally, to compete south Georgia may need to go global.

"When you're talking about technology, biotechnology, other industry types your are definitely competing on a global basis and it's not as simple as one might think and certainly you have to work harder, work smarter to attract those desirable companies to your community," said Linda Moore, V.P. Albany-Dougherty Economic Development.

Perdue's push to find new international business is welcome news in south Georgia which stands to loose Merck in Albany, Collins and Aikman in Americus and has consistently lost businesses like Bob's Candies, but the area will have to fight.

"We need to continue to let the people in Atlanta know that there is another part of the state where they can bring their industry," Sen. Michael Meyer von Bremen (D) Albany.

Industrial manufacturing hopes their first venture overseas won't be their last.

"Anything Governor Perdue can do to help us achieve our goals and objectives obviously we'd be very pleased with," said Gainey.

International manufacturing is hiring qualified candidates just as fast as they can find them. They expect their new international business to increase that need for qualified workers.

Collins & Aikman will close its doors on 350 employees at the end of the month another 350 Merck employees will be phased out by June.

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