Gov. Deal signs trade agreement in Cordele - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Gov. Deal signs trade agreement in Cordele

Governor Nathan Deal (center) signs agreement between EPA Executive Director Curtis Foltz (left) and CIS President Jonathan Lafevers (right) Governor Nathan Deal (center) signs agreement between EPA Executive Director Curtis Foltz (left) and CIS President Jonathan Lafevers (right)
The crowd attending the Governor signing at the Cordele Intermodal Services Center on Wednesday The crowd attending the Governor signing at the Cordele Intermodal Services Center on Wednesday
Gov. Nathan Deal, (R) - GA Gov. Nathan Deal, (R) - GA
Curtis Foltz, GPA Executive Director Curtis Foltz, GPA Executive Director
CORDELE, GA (WALB) -

Governor Nathan Deal signed an agreement in Cordele Wednesday to boost its inland port.

He said the partnership between the Georgia Ports Authority and Cordele Intermodal Services will create jobs and boost our area's economy by creating a major logistics center.

The crates unloaded in Savannah's Garden City Terminal could soon have an easier time getting to Southwest Georgia.

That's because a new agreement between the GPA and the CIS means tons of products will be shipped directly from Savannah to Cordele on a 200 mile train route.

"This is certainly gonna enhance the opportunities for more jobs coming into this part of the state," said Gov. Nathan Deal, (R) - GA.   

He said the agreement will strengthen the state's economy.

"Having the proper infrastructure are one of the important ingredients that causes a company to decide where they're gonna locate.  And this is an important part of the infrastructure," said Deal

Some said the agricultural industry could blossom from the partnership.  They said farmers will have an easier time shipping more commodities to larger markets. 

"It's good for a lot of exports that come out of this area.  Peanuts, pecans, cotton, are the types of products...kale and clay, that this is gonna help those products be more competitive on the international market," said Curtis Foltz, GPA Executive Director. 

Deal said the agreement will reduce the number of trucks on the road, and will improve the state's air quality.

"I think it will facilitate more rapid movement as you disperse these containers away from the port.  Get them into a point where access can be made by truck to other parts of the country.  I think it benefits everybody," said Deal. 

They say the partnership could even bring new industries to South Georgia.

"What we're working on now, with the local team, is how we attract the import side of the equations.  So you're talking about distribution centers that will locate here.  So you have import freight coming to go into the retail markets, which is good, and the distribution centers are good for jobs here," said Foltz.

He said an increase of import opportunities in South Georgia would create further equipment and job opportunities for the exporting industry. 

The Governor said the trade industry employs more than 350,000 Georgians, and generates about $2.5 Billion in tax revenue for the state every year.

He said the agreement will also increase in interstate commerce by shipping more goods from South Georgia to neighboring states.

Copyright 2013 WALB.  All rights reserved.   

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