Photo by Corinne Nicholson
The Gwinnett Chamber economic development team recently conducted its 2010 global business mission to China and Korea. Nearly 20 business delegates accompanied Gwinnett Chamber leaders over the course of 10 days as each sought opportunities for global expansion and foreign direct investment. The mission included international trade shows, one-on-one meetings and several opportunities for initial connections that would spur future growth and development. Most importantly, though, were the accomplishments realized while on this business mission to the rising super power of the East.
Here are a few highlights and achievements coming out of the past two weeks in China:
Hisense Corporation -- the largest manufacturer and distributor of electronics in China -- hosted our delegation atop its 25th floor headquarter facility in Qingdao and announced at the dinner its intent to establish and expand a research and development component to its already solid North American headquarter presence in Gwinnett County. The R&D expansion will cover an additional 7,000 square feet of real estate, initially, and is expected to deliver more high-wage jobs to the region with a promise for continued and rapid growth in the future.
As the ties between Gwinnett and China continued to grow, Self Electronics Corporation of Ningbo, China, announced its intent to add three more positions to its sales force and the expansion will mean two to three new jobs during 2010, with more coming later if the company's business continues to grow. The company is in the process of purchasing a 7,500-square-foot building on an acre at 4500 Peachtree Lakes Drive in Duluth. Contacts have been made with Home Depot and Lowe's, and its products are already in use in stores such as Lord and Taylor.
Upon hearing of the continued growth and expansion of existing Chinese industry and with many more new connections being made, Gwinnett Chamber economic development also celebrated the grand opening of its first international office to be stationed in the modern Chinese city of Wuxi, Jiaing Su, China. The office will serve as a launch pad for Gwinnett businesses expanding into China and is symbolic of Gwinnett's commitment to strong global business relations with China and the city of Wuxi.
As the state of Georgia continues to focus on Chinese business development and investment, Gwinnett will continue to advance global connectivity and business relationships with this strong and ripe international economy. But China is only one of Gwinnett's international focuses.
The Chamber's economic development team is also keenly focused on Korea, with strong ties to both government and development agencies in Seoul and Incheon and parts of Europe and Scandinavia, having recently hosted delegations from Germany, Denmark and Estonia.
Jim Maran is president and CEO of the Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce.