Georgia Welcomes International Buyers through Inbound Missions

De'Osha Randolph

Wednesday, November 29th, 2017

Inbound trade missions are a flagship export promotion program offered by GDEcD that bring delegations of foreign buyers from all over to meet one-on-one with Georgia suppliers. Often organized in partnership with the Southern United States Trade Association, these inbound programs provide Georgia companies with a valuable and cost-effective opportunity to meet directly with vetted foreign buyers without having to travel across the globe. Inbound missions also offer a unique setting for showcasing the state’s business-friendly climate and culture. Participating buyers experience first-hand why Georgia is consistently ranked as the #1 state to do business and return to their countries with a deeper understanding of Georgia’s vibrant economy.

Inbound trade missions to Georgia frequently focus on the state’s thriving agribusiness sector. As part of Georgia’s largest industry, many Georgia agribusiness companies find that their diversity of consumer-oriented products aligns well with what international food retail buyers are seeking. Over the last ten years, Georgia’s agribusiness exports have grown by nearly 55% with more than $4.6 billion exported in 2016 alone.

Every inbound program is unique and features delegations from a variety of international markets throughout the year. Markets are carefully chosen based on economic trends and industry needs in the target country. Brazil’s economic growth over the last few years, for instance, makes it an ideal growth market for U.S. exporters. According to SUSTA, approximately half of Brazil’s population is considered middle class, accounting for a broad consumer base with a considerable degree of purchasing power. Brazilians are also changing their tastes and consumption habits for new products, making the Brazilian food market an interesting option for U.S. exporters.

GDEcD most recently collaborated with SUSTA to organize an inbound trade mission that brought buyers from Brazilian food retail companies to meet with Georgia suppliers. The Brazilian delegation started their trip with a visit to the Private Label Manufacturer’s Association Annual Trade Show in Chicago. The group then traveled to Georgia for two days of one-on-one meetings with Georgia companies as well as tours of local food retail facilities including Publix and Whole Foods Market.

SUSTA has long been a valued partner in promoting Georgia’s agribusiness exports. GDEcD’s International Trade Managers Priya Verma and Josh Jacob, who specialize in helping food and agriculture exporters grow their international sales, work closely with SUSTA to coordinate missions and provide unique opportunities for Georgia companies interested in expanding their global footprint.

In addition to inbound buyer programs, SUSTA and GDEcD travel with Georgia businesses to premier international trade shows offering exhibitor booth space at reduced rates for qualified agribusiness companies.

So far in 2017, GDEcD has recruited Georgia companies to exhibit in SUSTA-sponsored booths at six international trade shows in locations all over the world including Asia, Europe, Africa and North America. In addition, GDEcD has sponsored its own Georgia, USA booths at leading food and beverage shows such as Restaurants Canada, SIAL China and ANUGA in Germany.

Fostering a successful environment for Georgia exporters to promote their goods and services abroad has been a longstanding goal of GDEcD’s Trade division. Inbound trade missions provide unique opportunities for Georgia companies to gain valuable exposure to key contacts in international markets and frequently lead to signed agreements. Many Georgia companies now have established international partnerships as a result of participating in inbound buyer programs organized by GDEcD and SUSTA.

From the Georgia Department of Economic Development