International Dignitaries Visit Hall County
A group of top diplomatic and business officials representing close to 20 countries toured Northeast Georgia as part of the 23rd Annual VIP Tour. The tour, held April 15 – 17, showcased destinations, businesses, educational institutions and economic development partnerships in Flowery Branch, Gainesville, Clayton, Young Harris, Dahlonega, Helen, Dawsonville and Cumming.
“Each year, the VIP Tour gives Georgia a unique opportunity to highlight business, cultural, tourism and educational assets of different regions of our state,” said Ken Stewart, commissioner of the Georgia Department of Economic Development. “Georgia’s diplomatic corps witnessed first-hand Northeast Georgia’s unmatched beauty as well as its economic development capabilities. It is our belief that our distinguished diplomatic corps will, in turn, become advocates for the value this region of Georgia can bring to their home-country companies.”
The VIP Tour visited sites highlighting Northeast Georgia’s diversity of manufacturing, educational, tourism, entertainment and cultural industries. The first stop was the Falcons Team Headquarters in Flowery Branch. The rest of the day, the VIPs visited the Kubota plant in Gainesville, Jaemor Farms in North Hall County and Tallulah Gorge State Park, with an overnight stay in Clayton.
“Gainesville-Hall County has become a center for international business with more than 40 international subsidiaries from 12 different nations,” said Tim Evans, Vice President of Economic Development, Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce. “The representatives on the VIP Tour are their nations’ diplomatic, cultural and business ambassadors, and we are very pleased they chose to focus on Gainesville-Hall County for their Northeast Georgia tour.”
This year’s VIP Tour included representatives from Albania, Australia, Austria, Brazil, Canada, Costa Rica, Czech Republic, Ecuador, France, Germany, Japan, Korea, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Nigeria, Philippines, Slovenia, Switzerland and Taiwan.
The Atlanta Consular Corps consists of consuls general, consuls, honorary consuls and trade commissioners representing 61 countries. Career officers are members of their country’s foreign services while honorary officials are local residents appointed by foreign governments to perform consular duties. Each consulate offers diplomatic and business assistance to nationals from its respective country.