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State economic development group earns exports honor
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Gov. Nathan Deal announced Monday that the Georgia Department of Economic Development has been selected to receive the Presidential “E Star” Award for excellence in providing export programs and services.

“International trade has a powerful job creation effect, enriching the lives of Georgians and helping the state to remain a leader in the global marketplace,” said Deal. “Congratulations to the Department of Economic Development’s International Trade Division for this tremendous accomplishment, and I look forward to continuing our partnership to keep Georgia the No. 1 place in which to do business.”

The President’s “E Star” and “E” Awards are the nation’s highest honor given to an export service organization. The “E” Award was originally created by executive order from President Kennedy in 1961. The “E Star” Award is authorized to recognize previous “E” Award winners for their continued efforts in export expansion. Georgia’s international trade program first achieved “E” status in 1970 and most recently received an “E Star” Award in 2007 for its shared leadership approach to export assistance and the facilitation of export activities that support the export growth of Georgia companies.

“Developing and maintaining solid international exports is vital to bringing jobs and investment to Georgia,” said GDEcD Commissioner Chris Carr. “In 2013, Georgia’s exports created or retained 227,747 jobs. I couldn’t be more proud to work for an organization that has a nationally-recognized export assistance program.”

GDEcD’s International Trade Division aims to match Georgia suppliers with international buyers. The division offers a variety of export promotion services to Georgia companies, in addition to utilizing the state’s international representatives in 11 strategic global markets. More than 14,500 Georgia companies exported $37.6 billion in goods and services to 230 countries and territories in 2013. Due to its fourth consecutive record year in exports, Georgia is now the 11th-largest exporting state based on dollar value of exports. In FY 2013, GDEcD’s International Trade Division worked with 1,346 companies in Georgia. Work with these companies resulted in 420 export deals, valued at $35.9 million.

“I am thrilled that GDEcD has been selected to receive its second ‘E Star’ Award,” said Kathe Falls, division director, international trade. “We strive to offer the highest quality services to Georgians and this award recognizes those efforts.”