Dignitaries tour South Georgia - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Dignitaries tour South Georgia

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April 25, 2007

Albany - - Some very important people made their way to South Georgia Wednesday. They're taking a good look at all this region of the state has to offer. It could mean an economic boost for the area. 

Arriving off a traveling bus Wednesday morning, the VIP's of international businesses made their way to Albany. Their first stop was MacGregor's Golf Headquarters to see how golf clubs are designed from start to finish.

"It's impressive because I thought before coming that the process was automatic and all by computer. When you come here, you realize it's like jewelry. It's very precise," says Consular General of France and Trade Commissioner Philippe Ardnaz.

He is one of 20 VIP's invited to tour the facility. They came from all over the world, representing nations like Nigeria, Peru, Germany, and Taiwan. But the tour isn't just fun and games.

"We have a very diverse economy. Were a great place to do business. Were a great logistics location. We have a great workforce of people that are not only ready to go to work but eager and very qualified," says Ken Stewart, Economic Development Commissioner of Georgia.

His office has hosted this annual VIP Tour with the support of the Governor for 21 years now. He says when the dignitaries get a taste of our business and culture it has a payoff for the state.

"When they talk to companies in their own country that are looking for a place to invest in, we want them to think Georgia."

Ardnaz is taking good notes. Even though he doesn't golf himself, he realizes the potential of the market.

"We need to know more about the states we cover. We need to discover culture, we need to discover the firms."

So they can swing more foreign investments our way.

The VIP's have a tight schedule. After leaving MacGreggors, they headed to the Flint Riverquarium. Wednesday night, they will stay at the resort at Lake Blackshear. Thursday, they'll head to Tifton and Friday, they'll tour Valdosta.

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