ATLANTA – Mayor Kasim Reed joined Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte and Flemish Minister-President Geert Bourgeois at a ceremony today to celebrate the countries’ longstanding relationship and economic partnership with the City of Atlanta and the United States. The Netherlands and Belgium led a joint economic mission to Atlanta to promote and encourage bilateral trade opportunities in the logistics and information technology sectors. More than 100 companies from the Delta region participated in the delegation.
The event included a signing ceremony to solidify new partnerships between Atlanta organizations such as the Georgia Institute of Technology, Altera – recently acquired by Intel—and the maker of passport reader software, WorldReach, with the Delta region.
“We are proud to welcome Prime Minister Rutte and Minister President Bourgeois, as well as more than 100 businesses to the City of Atlanta,” said Mayor Reed. “Companies like the Coca-Cola Company and UPS have offices in the Delta region, and companies like KLM, VanderLande Industries and Barco thrive in Atlanta. Our existing partnerships have created jobs, sound investments and promising opportunities in the logistics and information technology industries, and the economic ties among the countries and the City are still advancing.”
The Netherlands is the 12th largest export market for Georgia. In 2013, Georgia exports to the Netherlands totaled nearly $752 million – a 15 percent increase from year 2012. In addition, more than 150 Dutch companies operate in the state supporting more than 15,000 jobs.
This week, Prime Minister Rutte opened the United States headquarters of the software company, Backbase, in Atlanta. The company develops banking software to help financial institutions create, manage, and optimize secure digital service channels such as mobile applications and web portals.
“The Netherlands has long recognized the importance of the Atlanta region. This economic mission to Atlanta reaffirms our strong economic ties in financial technology, smart logistics, cyber security and paves the way for future growth in these sectors and more,” said Prime Minister Rutte.Currently, Belgium is the 13th largest export market for Georgia and its 48 facilities operating in the state accounts for 3,600 jobs. Georgia exports to Belgium totaled $686 million in year 2013, which is 4 percent increase from 2012.“I’m honoured to be present here today together with my colleague from the Netherlands Mr. Rutte and Mayor Reed,” said Minister-President Bourgeois. “Atlanta serves as an important gateway to the United States, and is a prime location for our Flemish companies to develop their business in the rest of the country, especially in the field of FinTech, Cyber Security and Smart Logistics.”
The United States is the leading single-country investor in the Netherlands – Belgium Business Delta and exports $30 billion to the Netherlands yearly.