Forests, mountains, rivers and large areas of fertile farmland ... Georgia's natural resources are quite similar to those in Sweden.
The U.S. state of Georgia is a top destination for international companies interested in locating or expanding their business. A unique combination of transportation assets, a quality workforce, and business-friendly government and tax policies make it an ideal place for Swedish companies in any industry to enter the North American marketplace. In addition to these strengths, Georgia’s southern charm and hospitality make it a wonderful place to live.
Georgia connects businesses to the world. It is home to consular representation, trade offices and bi-national chambers of commerce for more than 60 countries. The most recent additions to the consular community in Atlanta include the Bahamas and Brazil. To further extend its reach, there are 10 Georgia-based offices across the globe, including the newest office in Beijing, China.
Sweden’s presence in the state is strengthened by the more than 45 Swedish companies with subsidiaries in Georgia. The Swedish-American Chamber of Commerce (SACC), located in the capital city of Atlanta, encourages and promotes an exchange of business, trade, investment, technology and culture between Sweden and Georgia. A close relationship between the state and the SACC means establishing your business in Georgia is a simple, supported process.
Atlanta’s Hartsfield Jackson International Airport, consistently the world’s busiest airport, makes it easy for Scandinavians to enter the region. With the state’s central location in the southeast, companies can reach 80 percent of the U.S. market in a two-hour flight or two-day truck haul. Georgia’s excellent highway network includes five interstates and an extensive complement of state and federal roads. The state has the strongest rail network of any in the southeast, with 4,700 miles of rail. And the ports are also a standout: The Port of Savannah is the fastest-growing in the U.S., and the Port of Brunswick continues to attract more and more automotive business.
What Swedes may not know is that large parts of Georgia showcase natural resources that are quite similar to those found in Sweden. Northern Georgia is filled with beautiful forests, mountains and rivers, and large areas of the state are fertile farmland. When added to the state’s emphasis on education, research and innovation, these natural assets lead to a great balance of varied and successful industries. Traditional industries including agriculture, automotive, pulp and paper and textiles flourish alongside cutting-edge sectors like aerospace, biosciences and information technology. Georgia continues to gather strength in biosciences, ranking 7th nationally in Ernst and Young’s report on the industry.
One of Georgia’s emerging strengths is in the cleantech industry—the new set of technologies based on principles of resource efficiency, which is setting new paradigms in energy conservation through solar energy and wind energy. The state has also officially committed to the pursuit of a higher standard of energy efficiency. In 1992, the U.S. Federal Government established a Center of Excellence for Photovoltaics Research and Education in Atlanta at Georgia Tech, one of only two centers in the country. Today that center is conducting groundbreaking research that makes Georgia Tech a leading contender in the search for clean, renewable energy sources. As one of the leading countries within the field, Sweden has great potential to contribute to the continued “greening” of Georgia. Any Swedish company in the cleantech industry that is interested in expanding its business in the U.S. should examine the great opportunities offered by the state of Georgia.
Some of the world’s most respected business publications give Georgia high marks for its agreeable business climate. Chief Executive magazine and Forbes rank the state fourth and sixth respectively in their “Best State for Business” results. Georgia has the United States’ fourth-largest number of Fortune 500 headquarters and the third-highest number of businesses on the Inc. 500. And finally, the Kauffman Index of Entrepreneurial Activity moved Georgia from third place two years ago to number one in 2009.
Georgia is not just a great place to do business—it’s a great place to live. With a temperate climate, four distinct seasons and picturesque regions spanning mountains, historic cities, forests, lowlands and a beautiful stretch of coastline, the state has broad appeal to draw visitors year-round. World class festivals like the Cherry Blossom Festival in Macon and first rate international sporting events such as The Masters Golf Tournament draw visitors to Georgia each year.
Lower tax rates, combined with a below average cost of living and business, means that Georgia is a place where companies thrive. Superb logistics, a young and educated workforce, a focus on innovation and close international connections provide an ideal environment for success for Swedish companies. Visit www.georgia.org and www.sacc-georgia.org to learn more about the state’s array of assets and ample business opportunities.
The Georgia Department of Economic Development
and The Swedish-American Chamber of Commerce Georgia