브라이언 켐프 조지아 주지사가 22일 한국 공식방문을 앞두고 각 언론사에 관련 기고문을 보내왔다. 기고문 전문을 소개한다. /편집자주
South Korean Partnership Ensures a Stronger, More Prosperous Georgia
BY: Brian P. Kemp, 83rd Governor of Georgia
With low unemployment, rising wages, and unrivaled economic opportunity fostered by strong leadership at the State Capitol, it is a great time to be a Georgian.
The top state for business six years in a row, Georgia continues to outperform national trends. From agriculture, the Peach State’s oldest and largest industry, to cyber, FinTech, and Healthcare IT, we boast a robust economy with industry leaders who are proud to call Georgia home.
To keep Georgia competitive and ensure a bright and promising future for our families, we must keep taxes low, government business-friendly, and advance legislation that encourages job creators to innovate, expand, and invest.
We must also strengthen existing international partnerships and realize the full economic potential that exists beyond our borders.
Georgia is home to many internationally based companies who employ thousands of hardworking Georgians, generate tax revenue, and create economic impact in every corner of our state. As Georgia’s economic footprint grows, it is imperative to maintain powerful relationships with our international partners.
Next week, I will travel to South Korea for my first trade mission as Georgia’s governor to strengthen relationships with one of our most impactful economic partners.
Georgia is home to at least 113 Korean facilities, employing over 9,000 Georgians. Korea is the ninth largest export market for our state, totaling $1.03 billion in 2018 exports and serves as the fifth largest import market for Georgia, totaling $5.96 billion in 2018 imports.
In the last twelve months alone, the Department of Georgia Economic Development has announced nearly $2 billion in investment from Korean companies, which amounts to 3,000 new jobs in cities and rural communities throughout Georgia. These innovative companies are creating
high-paying jobs for the future, manufacturing solar cells and electric car batteries for the world.
During this important – and timely – trade mission, we will tour Sangsin Technology. Announced in March of 2019, Sangsin is building a new facility in Henry County, creating 200 jobs and investing $20 million in its first North American manufacturing facility. Sangsin Technology America is a global leader in brake friction materials and replacement parts manufacturer.
Next, we will visit Hanwha Q CELLS, a global, leading photovoltaic manufacturer of high-performance, high-quality solar cells and modules. While on-site, we will connect with the Korean Importers Association – an organization that helps Georgia companies enter into the Korean market.
Last year, Hanwha Q CELLS Korea announced a new module manufacturing facility in Dalton. They are wasting no time, hiring about 600 people in just seven months. We are excited to learn more about their operations and plans for the Peach State.
Before the Great Recession, Kia made one of the biggest, single foreign investments in the history of Georgia by establishing a state-of-the-art production facility in West Point. Since then (2006), Kia and its suppliers have helped create more than 14,000 jobs and produced more than 2.6 million vehicles for customers around the globe. On Wednesday, our trade mission will visit the Kia Research & Development Center and Test Track and work to develop our strong relationship with senior leadership at Kia.
Shortly after being elected governor, I was proud to stand with Governor Nathan Deal to announce Georgia’s largest economic development project in modern history. SK Innovation, a developer and manufacturer of lithium-ion batteries for hybrid electric vehicles, is building a new manufacturing plant in Jackson, which will create more than 2,000 jobs and invest $1.67 billion in Jackson County.
While in South Korea, we will visit a plant similar to the one being built in Jackson County and meet with SK Innovation leadership.
Trade missions are critically important for building and maintaining the international relationships that have made Georgia a global competitor for investment and trade and the No. 1 place in the nation to do business. We
will continue to foster equitable international partners – like in Korea – that ensure a stronger, more prosperous future for Georgia.