Officials: Chinese company to expand in Suwanee

As Gwinnettians slept early Friday, local officials halfway around the world in China announced an expansion of a major company, bringing three dozen jobs to Suwanee.

"This win proves the value of international business recruitment missions," Chairman Charles Bannister said in a statement during his trip with Chamber of Commerce officials to China. "Through our continued focus on economic development and these recruitment missions, we are able to work with quality organizations like Hisense to bring high-wage job opportunities to Gwinnett citizens and showcase to the world what a great location Gwinnett County is for business."

The expansion of Hisense - a division of China's largest manufacturer and distributor of flat-panel screens - North American headquarters in Suwanee will produce $800,000 in capital investment for Gwinnett and create 35 to 40 high-wage jobs for research and development.

The company, which is the only company in Georgia fully owned by the Chinese government, has leased its location in Gwinnett since 2001 but will become a permanent property owner with this move, officials said.

"The decision by Hisense to expand its presence in Georgia testifies once again to our state's success in fostering an international business environment," said Ken Stewart, commissioner of the Georgia Department of Economic Development. "Georgia's ready work force and access to global markets continue to provide Chinese companies a robust platform to grow their business."

The Gwinnett delegation toured Hisense Global Corporate headquarters in Quindao, China during their trip and were expected to meet with government officials and industries in an attempt to build additional business relationships.

"Gwinnett County offers much in the way of international business growth," said Steven Cohen, director of the company's American location, who made the trip with county officials "With a strong workforce from which to recruit, a business friendly environment and close proximity to the world's busiest airport, it was a perfect fit for Hisense and that's why we chose to remain and expand in this progressive community."