Atlanta, GA — Georgia Department of Economic Development (GDEcD) Commissioner Pat Wilson, joined by Mr. Soo Deuk Sohn, the Senior Executive Vice President of the Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency (KOTRA), announced the opening of the new KOTRA overseas office in Atlanta. KOTRA is the Government of Korea’s trade and investment organization. Both parties signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) affirming their dedication to support each other’s services and networks and to promote cooperation in economic relations, trade, and investment between the State of Georgia and Korea.
“Korea is an established strategic market for investment, trade, and tourism for the State of Georgia, and our partnerships and trusted relationships are the foundations of our success. The decision by KOTRA to open an overseas office in Atlanta will continue to strengthen these relationships,” said Commissioner Wilson. “Our existing connectivity includes daily direct flights between Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport and Incheon International Airport, as well as long-standing agreements between the Georgia ports of Savannah and Brunswick and five Korean ports. These connections facilitate our joint efforts to create an innovative electric mobility ecosystem in Georgia and provide opportunities for collaboration, reciprocal business growth, and cultural exchange. Welcome to Georgia!”
On his most recent mission to Korea in early March, Commissioner Wilson met with the President and CEO of KOTRA, Mr. Jeoung Yeol Yu, as well as key business representatives, including representatives from Kia and SK Group. The mission re-confirmed the State of Georgia’s commitment to its Korean companies and international partners.
“KOTRA Atlanta will serve as outpost to support Korean business in the Southeastern United States,” said Mr. Soo Deuk Sohn. “In particular, we will do our best to expand cooperation in many industrial fields between Korea and the United States and support Korean companies’ local investments.”
KOTRA helps Korean companies successfully settle in new markets, such as the State of Georgia, by acting as the first point of contact. The agency provides businesses with investment and support resources, including information on programs offered by state or local agencies such as the Georgia Department of Economic Development.
The new KOTRA office, located at 950 East Paces Ferry Road NE, Suite 999 in Atlanta, will host teams dedicated to facilitating trade and investment opportunities between Georgia and Korea. Atlanta will host the eighth overseas KOTRA office in the United States and the 10th in North America.
The Republic of Korea has maintained a consular presence in Georgia since 1971. Mr. Yoonjoo Park has served as Consul General since June 2021. The State of Georgia has maintained continuous representation in Korea since 1985 with an office in Seoul, headed by Managing Director Peter Underwood. The state also has a dedicated Georgia-based director of Korean Investment, Yoonie Kim.
Several Georgia companies including American Megatrends, First Advantage Corporation, InComm, Novelis, Unicoi Systems, and UPS have operations in Korea. Georgia is home to at least 100 Korean facilities. These Korean-affiliated companies currently employ more than 9,400 Georgians and include Kia, SK Battery America, Sangsin Technology America, and Q CELLS Korea.
Since 2020, numerous Korean companies have announced projects in Georgia, including SK Group subsidiary company SKC, which will manufacture glass-based substrates for semiconductor chips in Covington, along with several business partners. In addition, SUNGDO ENG USA announced its corporate U.S. headquarters in the state. The company provides highly technical construction services to many Georgia-based clients. Electric mobility parts and storage systems supplier for SK Group, Duckyang, is also opening a new facility in Jackson County. In west Georgia, brake pad supplier KB Autosys will open their first U.S. advanced manufacturing facility in Georgia to better serve customers in the region such as GM, Hyundai, and Kia.
Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport offers daily direct flights from Atlanta to Seoul. The Georgia Ports Authority (GPA) in Savannah has an established relationship with ports of Korea and offers seven regular shipping services to the Port of Busan. GPA’s Brunswick Port also offers shipping services to Incheon, Masan, Pyongtaek, and Kunsan.
In 2021, Georgia exports to Korea totaled $860.59 million. Korea is the 10th largest export market for Georgia. Top exports from Georgia to Korea include gas turbines, aircraft, medical instruments, chemical woodpulp, and chemical analysis instruments. Georgia imports from Korea totaled $8.83 billion in 2021. Korea ranks third among Georgia’s importer nations. Top imports from Korea to Georgia include motor vehicles, tractor parts, bulldozers, engines, and fork-lift trucks.
The Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency (KOTRA) was established in 1962 to contribute to the development of the national economy by performing work such as promoting trade, facilitating investment between domestic and foreign companies, and supporting industrial technology cooperation. KOTRA is headquartered in Seoul but operates over 127 Overseas Trade Centers in 84 countries. Visit www.kotra.or.kr for more information.
The Georgia Department of Economic Development (GDEcD) is the state’s sales and marketing arm, the lead agency for attracting new business investment, encouraging the expansion of existing industry and small businesses, locating new markets for Georgia products, attracting tourists to Georgia, and promoting the state as a destination for arts and location for film, music and digital entertainment projects, as well as planning and mobilizing state resources for economic development. Visit www.georgia.org for more information.
Photos: On March 31, 2022, leaders from the Georgia Department of Economic Development and the Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency (KOTRA) announced the opening of the new KOTRA overseas office in Atlanta and signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) affirming their dedication to support each other’s services and networks and to promote cooperation between the State of Georgia and Korea. (Photos courtesy of KOTRA.)