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Governor Perdue Visits with Central American Ambassadors

Monday, March 21, 2005  Contact: Office of Communications 404-651-7774


ATLANTA – During a breakfast at the Governor’s Mansion today, Governor Sonny Perdue welcomed ambassadors and other senior government officials from Guatemala, Costa Rica, Honduras, the Dominican Republic and El Salvador. The purpose of their visit was to discuss trade relations between Georgia and Central America.

“During your visit, you will see that Atlanta is an important and growing hub for international trade. We’ve developed strong business ties with our neighbors in the Americas. We want to keep strengthening those relationships,” said Governor Sonny Perdue. “I understand the importance of this region to Georgia’s future. Central America is one of the fastest growing markets for the U.S., and especially for Georgia.”

During his remarks, Governor Perdue also asked the visiting officials for their support to locate the headquarters of the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) in Atlanta.

According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, Georgia is the United States' fifth largest exporter to this region. Georgia exported more than $660 million worth of goods and services to Central America and the Dominican Republic in 2004. Leading products were textiles and fabrics at $283 million, paper at $110 million, chemicals at $54 million, and possessed food products at almost $42 million.

Ambassadors participating in the forum included H.E. Jose Guillermo Castillo, Ambassador of Guatemala, H.E. Tomas Duenas, Ambassador of Costa Rica and H.E. Flavio Espinal, Ambassador of the Dominican Republic. Also participating were Maria Bennaton, Minister for Trade, Embassy of Honduras and Werner Romero, Economic Counselor, Embassy of El Salvador.