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Coming to America—How about Atlanta?

So you want to expand your business outside of Asia and setup shop in the United States to further develop your export business.  Have you considered Atlanta as your headquarters for the Americas?  Here are the top 5 reasons why Atlanta should be on your shortlist:

Location

Atlanta is located in one of the fastest-growing regions of the United States.  Located in the Southeast, the region has experienced tremendous economic growth and prosperity over the last several decades.  Atlanta is now home to more than 5.4 million people and continues to welcome migrants from all over the county as well as the world. 

The city is centrally located to serve the Americas and is one of the largest distribution hubs in North America.  The Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport is the busiest airport in the world.  The airport is not only a hub for air service to the United States and Canada, but also serves over 42 locations in Latin America and the Caribbean, making Atlanta the perfect base of operations to develop your international business.  In the Asia Pacific region, Atlanta has nonstop service to Seoul, Shanghai and Tokyo.

Owing to its history as a distribution hub for the Confederacy during the American Civil War, Atlanta has remained a center of transportation for rail and truck service.  The United Parcel Service (UPS) has its world headquarters here, where 80% of the U.S. market can be served within 2 days by truck.  Three major interstate highways intersect in Atlanta along with numerous rail links making Atlanta an excellent location for your warehouse and distribution center.

The Port of Savannah is considered an extremely fast and reliable port.  Just a few hours away by truck from Atlanta, it is the fastest growing port in the United States and second largest on the East Coast.  Containers arriving by ocean vessel from Asia can be unloaded and transferred via train or truck to your Atlanta operations facility. 

Educated Talent Pool

A steady stream of Chinese and Korean students continue to make Atlanta their new home.  They are attracted to the world-renowned universities located in the Atlanta metro area such as the Georgia Institute of Technology, Emory University, Georgia State University and University of Georgia.  The metro area also boasts several other universities and technical colleges including the Savannah College of Art and Design and Kennesaw State University which is aggressively developing Asia-USA Partnership Opportunities.

These institutions create energetic and talented professionals that are not only capable of running your operations, but have the technical know-how and vision to take your company’s global operations to the next level.  Atlanta attracts young people from all over the country with its low cost of living, vibrant lifestyle and economic opportunities.  Atlanta’s economic mix of Fortune 500 companies, small business and entrepreneurial activity provide an array of talent and human resources for your business.   

Cost of Living / Lifestyle

Atlanta offers homes that are much larger and much less expensive than other major cities in the United States.  Considering New York or California for you company’s operations?  Don’t bother.  While those places are great for a visit, Atlanta and the Southeast offer the picturesque and comfortable American lifestyle at a fraction of the cost.  An individual making $50,000 annual salary in Atlanta will need to make over $71,000 in Los Angeles to maintain the same standard of living.  That same person would need to make over $85,000 to maintain the same standard of living in San Francisco!  Check out Bankrate for the comparison.  

And did we mention the attractive quality of life in Atlanta?  The climate is moderate and the city enjoys all four seasons with winter being relatively mild.  Atlantans enjoy the outdoors where there are plenty of entertainment options from sporting events to community festivals.  There is something for everybody in Atlanta.  Check out 50 Fun Things to Do in Atlanta.

Business Friendly

Atlanta and the state of Georgia is an extremely business friendly climate that welcomes your company from Asia.  Georgia is a right-to-work state, meaning that the law secures the right of employees to decide for themselves whether or not they want to join a union.  Here in Georgia, business is not impeded by the demands of the unions which is one reason why Georgia and the other Southeastern states continue to receive Korean, Japanese and Chinese capital investments. Kia, Toyota, Nissan and Honda are just a few of the many Asian companies that are finding a happy home in the Southeast.

The local government has been aggressive in courting foreign investment from Asia.  Gwinnett County, which is one of the counties that comprise the 5 county core of the Atlanta metro area, has been effective in reaching out to Chinese and Korean companies.  The Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce Global Business Council has conducted numerous activities to develop the county’s strong ties with the Korean business community in Georgia and is working in Korea to identify more investment opportunities into the United States.  On the China front, Gwinnett County has opened an international trade office in Wuxi and has made several economic development trips over the past few years.  The county’s efforts are paying off with the expansion of Hisense Co. Ltd and other Chinese firms into the area.  

Growing Asian Community

The Asian community in Atlanta is growing by leaps and bounds, and the Asian population in the metro area is quickly approaching 250,000 residents.  Asians make up more than 10% of Gwinnett County’s population, which is comprised mainly of Korean, Chinese, Vietnamese and Indian residents.  Historically, the Doraville and Chamblee suburbs of Atlanta have been the center of the Chinese and Korean communities, but now the shift is toward the Duluth and Suwanee suburbs of Gwinnett County with the growth of white-collar professionals, technical workers and entrepreneurs seeking out more upscale neighborhoods.  Gwinnett and the Metro Atlanta area provide plenty of choices for Asian restaurants along with several Asian retailers such as H-Mart and Assi to provide you with a taste of home.  Asian community organizations, business organization and social groups are all well established in Atlanta to make your transition and investment into the community that much easier.

Questions or comments? Please email Michael Fenton at mfenton@atlantapacificgroup.com

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