ATLANTA – Mayor Kasim Reed traveled to Johannesburg, South Africa as part of Ambassador Andrew Young’s South Africa Heritage Tour. On this trip, Mayor Reed will visit with government officials and business executives to encourage trade and foreign direct investment in the metropolitan Atlanta region. He is joined by representatives from a number of Atlanta-based businesses, including Carter & Associates LLC. and Dentons U.S. LLP.
“I am honored to join Ambassador Young on this tour. During his tenure as Ambassador to the United Nations, Ambassador Young put the African continent at the forefront of the U.S.’s international agenda. He was also pivotal in strengthening Atlanta’s ties with Africa during his time as Mayor,” said Mayor Reed. “Through Delta’s direct flight to Johannesburg from Atlanta, our city is positioned for a thriving trade relationship with South Africa. Expanding Atlanta’s current exports to South Africa and promoting our city as a world-class place to do business will be a top priority during our time in the country’s capital city.”
Since entering office, Mayor Reed has continued Ambassador Young’s efforts in strengthening Atlanta’s relationship with the African continent. In the last three years alone, Atlanta has welcomed numerous African delegations and hosted 75 delegates as part of President Obama’s Young African Leaders Initiative. This initiative aims at connecting young, talented African leaders to one another to forge stronger ties between the U.S. and the continent. Participants were selected out of 50,000 applicants and represented 18 different countries. Also, the Africa Atlanta 2014 program enhanced Atlanta’s relationship with Africa through a year-long series of educational, cultural, and business events highlighting the relationship between the U.S. and the African continent.
During Mayor Reed’s time in Johannesburg, the delegation will participate in market entry discussions, roundtable business meetings, and cultural events as part of the Ambassador Young’s South Africa Heritage Tour, in addition to bilateral meetings with Executive Mayor Parks Tau, Gauteng Premier Makhura, and U.S. Ambassador Patrick Gaspard.
At least 18 Georgia companies have operations in South Africa including The Coca-Cola Company and UPS. In 2015, Georgia exported $172 million in goods and services to South Africa.