Mayor Kasim Reed and Atlanta delegation set off on trade mission to China | News
Mayor Kasim Reed, along with a delegation from Invest Atlanta and the Metro Atlanta Chamber, met with senior executives from The Home Depot's global and China-based operations to discuss strategies for successful business development in the nation. The business meeting and presentation marked the first official event of the trade mission, which is aimed at uncovering new export and investment opportunities for the metropolitan Atlanta area. The delegation, which also includes more than 20 Atlanta-based companies, was joined in Shanghai by 28 senior level managers from the Executive MBA program at University of Georgia’s Terry College of business. “As China’s largest, most developed commercial and industrial city, Shanghai is the ideal place to begin our trade mission,” said Mayor Reed. “The meeting with Home Depot allowed the business owners and entrepreneurs in the delegation to gain valuable insight on how to successfully conduct business in China. We also learned the importance of having a long-term business strategy for China, responding to the market, and negotiating business deals well. Mayor Reed added: "We were also thrilled to have experienced the Maglev first-hand. We learned some important lessons about the opportunities and challenges that face cities around the world as they seek to improve public transportation and reduce congestion." The group travelled from the Shanghai Pudong International Airport to the heart of the city via the Maglev train, which uses technology under consideration for use in the Atlanta-Chattanooga high-speed project that could ultimately connect to the multimodal passenger terminal in Atlanta. The train, whose high-speed technology was developed by Siemens in Atlanta, could potentially pose a solution to the transportation challenges in the Atlanta region. After Shanghai, the delegation will focus on helping Atlanta companies pursue export opportunities in China. Mayor Reed also will meet with Chinese business and government leaders to discuss potential foreign direct investment opportunities in metropolitan Atlanta. Goals of the trip include building strategic relationships with companies interested in doing business with the U.S., and helping them learn why they should choose to invest in Atlanta. The trip will also allow for Atlanta companies to meet with partners for export opportunities “This mission trip will further us along the path to becoming the most economically dynamic and competitive city in the world,” said President and CEO of Invest Atlanta, Brian McGowan. “Our delegation looks forward to building on the momentum we’ve created in Shanghai which will lead to international trade and foreign direct investment in our city.” “The city of Atlanta could benefit immensely as a result of what we’ve learned in Shanghai,” said Hans Grant, Senior Vice President of Economic Development for the Metro Atlanta Chamber. “We’ll take away several innovative techniques and strategies, which we’ll implement to create a larger and stronger economy in Atlanta.” Mayor Reed and the Atlanta delegation will be in Nanjing on Monday and Tuesday.