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Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue
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Georgia Prospers in First Half of 2004

Wednesday, September 15, 2004  Contact: Office of Communications 404-651-7774


State Experiences Six Months of Growth in Business Recruitment, International Trade and Tourism

ATLANTA , GA - Governor Sonny Perdue today announced that the first half of 2004 produced marked increases in business recruitment and retention, international trade and tourism for the state.  Combined, these areas demonstrated solid growth and generated considerable revenue and opportunity for Georgians.

"These figures prove that, now more than ever, Georgia is both a great place to visit and a great place to do business," Governor Perdue said.  "I look forward to six more months of prosperity in 2004 and am confident that our state's pro-business climate and gracious hospitality will deliver on that promise."

Specifically, interest in locating and expanding business in Georgia grew considerably with new project inquiries increasing 18 percent during the first half of the year.  These inquiries led to more than 75 new project announcements, including Sanderson Farms' new poultry growing and processing facilities in Colquitt and Cook Counties that will provide 1,700 jobs and Toyo Tire North America's tire manufacturing facility that will bring 900 new jobs to Bartow County.

Georgia is also doing more business abroad this year.  Exports during the first half of 2004 exceeded $9.3 billion, up more than 13 percent over the first half of 2003.  Canada, Japan and Mexico remained the state's top export markets, and transportation equipment, chemicals and computer and electronic equipment remained the state's top exports.

Finally, the latest Smith Travel Research Standard Historical TREND Report indicates that Georgia hotel revenues increased 9 percent during the first six months of 2004, generating an additional $103 million over the first six months of 2003.  Each of the state's five travel regions reported an increase of at least 5 percent, with the coast region, site of the 2004 G8 Summit, increasing the most at nearly 15 percent.