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North Fulton forms new relationships with U.K. | Business

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North Fulton forms new relationships with U.K.
Business, Events, People
North Fulton forms new relationships with U.K.

ALPHARETTA, Ga. -- A Memorandum of Understanding to promote trade and direct foreign investment opportunities between the United Kingdom and North Atlanta has begun.

"The United Kingdom is and will remain a strong business partner for our region," said Brandon Beach, CEO of the Greater North Fulton Chamber of Commerce. "We have several major companies in our footprint which have ties to the United Kingdom and expect more. We have numerous companies in our region who have expressed to us their interest in expanding into the U.K. and Europe."

Jeremy Taylor, CEO of the Gatwick Diamond Business Association, entered into the Memorandum of Understanding with Beach.

The Gatwick Diamond Business District is located south of London and is centered on the Gatwick Airport. It is the economic driver for the southern region of the U.K. and has a population of 648,000, a workforce of 343,000 and 45,000 businesses.

The area is home to international brand name headquarters in finance, business services, advances manufacturing, aviation and pharmaceutical, as well as innovative small companies.

"Trade and investment is important to the companies located in our region, and we believe that the growth opportunities will come from the international markets. Therefore, we believe that Progress Partners provides our members great access to the U.S. and other markets through Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport," said Taylor. "That is why we are happy to announce that we have entered into an agreement to work jointly on assisting our respective members in their desire to expand internationally."

Progress Partners of North Fulton Atlanta is a Chamber initiative that provides a single source for economic development information and promotes the long-term economic growth and superior quality of life found in North Fulton.

"Some of our larger employers in North Fulton are U.K.-based companies, and as international trade increases, it is important to establish ties and relationships abroad, as part of our future job growth for our region will come from abroad," said Al Nash, executive director of Progress Partners.

Beach and Taylor formed their agreement during a recent Progress Partners trip to the U.K. The trip was arranged through Burkhalter International to support job growth in both the U.K. and U.S.

"The Gatwick Diamond District was delighted to have hosted the Chamber on their visit to the U.K. The Chamber's visit will help to advance additional opportunities to expand this successful economic partnership to the benefit of both organizations," said Rosemary French, executive director of the Gatwick Diamond Initiative, who participated in the agreement.

The United Kingdom ranks as the sixth largest export market and the eighth largest import market for Georgia. The state exported nearly $900 million there in 2010, with top exports including electrical machinery, wood pulp, aircraft or spacecraft, paper and machinery.

Imports from the U.K. totaled close to $2.3 billion and consisted primarily of pharmaceutical products, nonrailway vehicles, electrical machinery, and aircraft or spacecraft.

More than 100 Georgia companies have operations in the U.K. and around 565 British facilities operate in Georgia, including 110 manufacturing locations. U.K.-affiliated companies employ close to 35,000 Georgians.

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