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Governor Perdue to Welcome Vice President Daniel Scioli of Argentina to Atlanta

Thursday, June 23, 2005  Contact: Office of Communications 404-651-7774


Visit to Focus on Strengthening Business and Cultural Ties between Georgia and Argentina

ATLANTA – Governor Sonny Perdue will welcome Argentine Vice President Daniel Scioli and Argentine Ambassador José Octavio Bordón to Atlanta from June 24 to June 26.  Vice President Scioli and Ambassador Bordón are leading a trade delegation that includes several Argentina-based companies looking to expand their business relationships with Georgia .

“ Georgia shares strong ties with the Argentine community, and the country has long been an important business partner for the state,” said Governor Sonny Perdue.  “It's rewarding to showcase our state to visitors, and I look forward to returning the generous hospitality they showed us when we visited Buenos Aires last year.”

In addition to participating in a business seminar hosted by the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce, the Argentine delegation, which includes food and wine producers, furniture and wood products manufacturers, hardware products manufacturers and leather goods producers, is scheduled to meet with Governor Perdue, Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin and President Jimmy Carter.  The delegation's trip will end with a gala hosted by the Georgia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce at which Vice President Scioli will be the guest of honor.  Governor Perdue will be the gala's keynote speaker.  The gala will be held Saturday at the Hyatt Regency Hotel.

Argentina was one of Georgia 's fastest growing trade partners in the early 1990s and remains an important ally in the state's trade with the hemisphere.  Currently, Argentina ranks 11th among Georgia's Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) trading partners and is fourth among Georgia's South American trading partners, with approximately $88.5 million in exports to the country in 2004.

As part of Atlanta 's candidacy for the FTAA Secretariat, Governor Perdue and representatives from Hemisphere, Inc. and the Georgia Department of Economic Development (GDEcD) have made several trips to Latin America and the Caribbean over the past two years. These visits are designed to showcase Georgia to all member countries within the hemisphere, and to enhance and expand business and cultural relationships.  The initiative is directed by Hemisphere, Inc., a public-private partnership chaired by Governor Perdue. 

Atlanta submitted its bid to be the permanent home of the FTAA Secretariat in March 2004.  The FTAA would eliminate trade barriers throughout the Western Hemisphere . If selected, Georgia is projected to receive an influx of approximately 11,000 new jobs and $500 million in annual investment. 

“This is a wonderful opportunity for our Argentine neighbors to experience what Atlanta and Georgia have to offer,” said Hemisphere Executive Director José Ignacio González.  “Meetings with the Vice President will further strengthen business and cultural ties, which in turn will help us reach our goal of positioning the state as the premier gateway for trade and investment, as well as placing Georgia as the future home of the FTAA Secretariat.”