SAVANNAH, GA, USA – On August 14, 2015, World Trade Center Savannah presented to its Board of Directors the existing connections between the coastal Georgia region and the world with the intention to proactively target countries through these connections. One connection that proved to be particularly strong after an in-depth analysis of quantitative and qualitative data was Japan.
Aside from Japan being the 5th largest export market for the district of Savannah and 4th among import nations, there have been significant investments made by the country in the coastal region. There are currently 17 companies with Japanese headquarters located in the coastal region, including Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems Americas, Inc. (MHPSA). MHPSA is a subsidiary of the conglomerate, Mitsubishi Motors, headquartered in Tokyo, Japan and is the largest foreign direct investment project to land in the region recently.
Large amounts of investment in the region can be attributed to the long-standing relationship between the state of Georgia and Japan. The state has assisted hundreds of Japanese companies to locate to Georgia through their foreign office in Tokyo. The Tokyo office was the first foreign office established by the state of Georgia in 1973. Georgia Ports Authority, a WTC Savannah partner, has also maintained a partnership with Shizuoka City, Japan and offers two weekly shipping services to Tokyo and Nagoya as well as three weekly shipping services to Kobe and Yokohama. Georgia is a charter member of the Southeastern United States-Japan Alliance (SEUS Japan). SEUS Japan was created in 1976 to promote trade and friendly relations between Japan and the states located in the southeast.
Over the next two years, WTC Savannah will utilize its existing connections and focus marketing and sales efforts to proactively target Japanese investment for the region as well as promote regional businesses interested in establishing trade relations with Japan. The existing resources through the region, the state, and the World Trade Centers Association show a clear path to creating more jobs and attracting investment for the region.
For additional information on this article, please contact Kathleen Henry, Manger of Trade Services and Research at WTC Savannah, at firstname.lastname@example.org.