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Peru to Join Atlanta's Consular Corps

Thursday, February 10, 2005  Contact: Office of Communications 404-651-7774


City’s FTAA Candidacy Forges New Partnerships with Latin American countries

ATLANTA, GA – Governor Sonny Perdue and Peru’s Ambassador to the United States, H.E. Eduardo Ferrero, announced today that Peru will open a consulate general in Atlanta, joining 52 other countries operating consulates and/or trade offices in the city. Governor Perdue made an official request of Peru’s Ambassador to open this office in May 2004.

“Atlanta’s candidacy for the FTAA Secretariat has prompted great interest in the Southeastern United States from the countries of Latin America,” said Governor Sonny Perdue. “Peru’s official representation in Atlanta promises enhanced business opportunities for both Georgia and Peru. Our strategic position in the heart of the fastest-growing region of the United States, and the strength of our corporate, academic and civic communities, makes Atlanta the ideal location for Peru’s new consulate general.”

The new office will assist the 30,000 – 40,000 Peruvians estimated to be living in North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Alabama and Georgia, including 11,000 Peruvians residing in Georgia. In addition to issuing visas and passports and performing other consular services, the new consulate general will promote trade, investment, tourism, academic and cultural relationships.

A May 2004 visit to Atlanta by Ambassador Ferrero included meetings with Governor Perdue, members of the business and academic communities in Georgia, and the leadership of the Peruvian-American Association of Georgia. “Since my visit, I have been convinced that my country’s presence in this dynamic region of the U.S. had to be enhanced by establishing an official and permanent representation in Atlanta,” said Ambassador Ferrero. “I am delighted that our foreign minister, as well as President Toledo, have supported my recommendation and that our Congress has approved the opening of our consulate general in Atlanta as soon as possible.”

The new Consul General of Peru in Atlanta will be Jorge Puente Luna, most recently Regional Director for the Decentralized Office of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Peru in the City of Iquitos. Previously he has served at Peru’s embassies in Finland, New Zealand, Guatemala, and Venezuela and as Consul General in Houston, Texas.

“We consider Peru an important and valuable business partner,” said Craig Lesser, commissioner of the Georgia Department of Economic Development (GDEcD), “and we want to work closely with the new Consul General and the Ambassador to further enhance our relationship, not only in the commercial arena but with university and other academic and cultural exchanges as well.

“Strong support from a country’s local community and strong business and cultural ties are primary reasons consulates are established in a city,” added Carlos Martel, GDEcD’s deputy commissioner for international trade. “We anticipate more of our trade partners in the Americas will consider Atlanta’s advantages when deciding on enhanced representation in the United States.”

Peru has solid cultural, commercial and academic ties with the state of Georgia. According to census figures, the Peruvian population in Georgia is exceeded only by those from Colombia and Brazil among South American countries. Board of Regents figures show 126 students from Peru were enrolled last fall in the state’s university system.

Brazil announced plans last fall to establish a consulate general in Atlanta, and similar announcements from other countries are expected soon.

The initiative to raise awareness of Georgia’s position as the premier gateway and future home of the Secretariat of the Free Trade Area of the Americas is directed by Hemisphere, Inc., a public-private partnership chaired by Governor Perdue. The Georgia Department of Economic Development is the lead economic development agency in the state of Georgia.