The State of Georgia was recognized last week for its close economic ties between the United States and South Korea. The Korea Society presented the annual James A. Fleet Award to Governor Brian P. Kemp and the Georgia Department of Economic Development for continuing to foster a strong relationship that first began when the Korean consulate opened an office in Atlanta in the mid-70s.
The Savannah region played an important role in Georgia winning the award, with the tremendous investment from Hyundai Motor Group currently under construction in Bryan County. Savannah Economic Development Authority President & CEO Trip Tollison and Savannah Area Chamber of Commerce President & CEO Bert Brantley attended the Korea Society event to represent the Coastal Empire.
The Van Fleet Award is named for the general who commanded the U.S. Army at the height of the Korean War in 1951.
At least 144 Korean companies have operations in Georgia. Korean investment in economic development projects in the Peach State has exceeded $23.6 billion during the last decade, with total trade between Korea and Georgia reaching $13 billion last year.
Highlights of the Georgia-Korea partnership include the Kia automotive manufacturing plant, which opened in West Point in 2009; the huge electric vehicles “metaplant” Hyundai Motor Group is building west of Savannah; and the battery manufacturing facility SK Battery is building near Cartersville. Other Korean companies operating in Georgia include Kumho Tire and Hanwha Qcells.