Monday, June 22, 2009

Gwinnett development group sets sights on Asia business

By Patrick Fox
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Less than a month after luring NCR headquarters from Ohio, Gwinnett County economic leaders have turned their sights overseas.

Partnership Gwinnett, an arm of the Chamber of Commerce, has scheduled a 15-day trip to Asia to promote economic development. It is the latest move in a strategy that has helped attract two Fortune 500 companies and more than 5,000 jobs to the county in the past two years.

“We’re not waiting for the phone to ring,” said Nick Masino, vice president of economic development for the Chamber and head of Partnership Gwinnett.

Luring business is Masino’s business and his whirlwind trip this week to China and South Korea is packed with meetings to sell officials on metro Atlanta.

“Once you’re over there, it’s not that expensive to move around,” he said. “We want to be very strategic while we’re there.”

The trip will also include more favorable news for Gwinnett. Plans for a business expansion by a Chinese frim already operated in the country will be announced June 26 but Masino could provide no further details.

Partnership Gwinnett’s strategy was laid out in 2006 when the Chamber sponsored a $150,000-study to craft a long-term economic development plan. The nine-month study became Masino’s bible.

The initiatives: create high-paying jobs, provide a strong workforce with a model education system, offer a high quality of life and market the area to outside interests. More here.

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