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Former Governor George Busbee to Co-Chair Annual Trade Meeting with Japan

Tuesday, January 6, 2004  Contact: Office of Communications 404-651-7774


Atlanta - Governor Sonny Perdue announced today the appointment of former Georgia Governor George D. Busbee to serve as co-chair of the 28th Annual Southeast U.S.-Japan Joint Meeting (SEUS-Japan) in Atlanta in 2004. Governor Busbee, who will co-chair with Taizo Nishimuro, chairman of the board of Toshiba Corp., was a driving force behind the inception of the annual meeting developed to foster international trade, industry, technology, culture, and commerce between the Southeastern United States and Japan.

"During his tenure, Governor Busbee had the foresight to understand the importance of building solid relations between the Southeastern United States and Japan," said Governor Sonny Perdue. "Thanks to his efforts, Japan is a top investor nation in Georgia and we enjoy a prosperous relationship that is a benefit to all."

The SEUS-Japan Association, organized in 1975, was created to build business ties and promote friendly relations between the southeastern states and Japan. The seven member states are Alabama, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia. The association meets in even-numbered years in the U.S. and in Japan during odd-numbered years.

"I am honored to again be involved in these important meetings that help Georgia establish and strengthen the warm relationships we have with Japan," said Busbee. "It is a chance to build bridges and business connections."

Georgia leads the southeast in Japanese investment and is fourth in the country in Japanese manufacturing. Most recently, Suzuki Motor Corp. began manufacturing all-terrain vehicles at its new plant in Rome, Ga. ; Fuji Vegetable Oil, Inc. announced it is undergoing a $32 million expansion at its manufacturing facility in Savannah ; and Yamaha completed a $50 million, 400 job expansion of its facility in Newnan to increase its employment at the site to more than 1,400.

"One of our primary goals during the meetings is to ensure that participants from Japan learn about the tremendous business potential available in Georgia," said Governor Perdue. "These annual meetings provide companies in the region with unparalleled networking opportunities with business and government leadership from Japan."

SEUS-Japan will be held at the Grand Hyatt Atlanta, October 10-12, 2004. For information regarding sponsorship of the event, please contact Gwen Kemmerick at (404) 656-3571.