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Georgia International Trade Office Earns Unprecedented Fourth U.S. Department of Commerce Award

October 23, 2020
Georgia Department of Economic Development


ATLANTA, October 23, 2020 —The Georgia Department of Economic Development (GDEcD) today announced that its International Trade division has earned a President’s “E Star” Award for Export Service from the U.S. Department of Commerce in recognition of “continuing significant contributions to an increase in U.S. exports.” The award is the highest honor given to providers of services to U.S. exporters. GDEcD is the first entity in the nation to earn a fourth “E” Award.

The Georgia Department of Economic Development’s International Trade division first earned the President’s “E” Award for Exports in 1975. Since that time, the Department has been awarded the President’s “E Star” Award for Export Service three times, in 2007, 2014 and 2020. The announcement letter from U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross calls this “a feat not achieved by any other entity in the 59-year history of the program.”

“I appreciate the U.S. Department of Commerce for recognizing Georgia’s International Trade office for their hard work to support Georgia exporters,” said Governor Brian P. Kemp. “Our small and medium-sized businesses are the backbone of economic growth in our communities, and our International Trade team provides personalized support to the hardworking Georgians behind these businesses to help them grow in global markets. As the Top State for Business for seven years running, we are honored by this important recognition and will continue to make good on our promise to put hardworking Georgians first.”

The U.S. Department of Commerce also applauded GDEcD’s sustained commitment to export expansion, and “achievement of more than 1,170 client trade successes since receiving the President’s ‘E Star’ Award in 2014.” It further notes that GDEcD’s achievements “have undoubtedly contributed to national export expansion efforts that support the U.S. economy and create American jobs.”

The Georgia Department of Economic Development actively supports export development through long-standing representation in 12 strategic international markets including Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Europe, Israel, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Peru and the United Kingdom. These representatives play a crucial role in facilitating international connections that generate economic success. Approximately two-thirds of Georgia trade involves markets where the state has representation.

“Our International Trade team puts service to Georgia businesses first every day, helping our companies achieve success around the world, and it’s exciting to see their dedication being acknowledged by our federal commerce department,” said Georgia Department of Economic Development Commissioner Pat Wilson. “This recognition is a testament to Georgia’s role in the global economy, the quality of our Georgia goods and services, and the commitment of our team in-state and abroad who continue to find success year in and year out.”

Last month, GDEcD’s International Trade division was also awarded a grant from the U.S. Small Business Administration to further bolster export assistance for small businesses statewide. The new Go Global Georgia initiative will help small business exporters stretch their international marketing budgets and create new global opportunities. Eligibility and application guidelines for Go Global Georgia can be found at 

“Export development helps our companies and our economy stay resilient. Our exporters are serious about expanding their markets, and we’re committed to helping them reach their goals through customized assistance and services,” said GDEcD Deputy Commissioner for International Trade Mary Waters. “I’m very proud of our team and the insight they continue to provide, helping companies identify the strongest export markets for continued growth. Our Georgia business community should know that when you work with our International Trade team and our partners across the state, you are working with the most effective team in the country.”

Anchored by the state’s two deepwater ports, inland ports, road and rail – Georgia’s logistics network provides exporters with a direct connection to the world. In the annual State of the Ports address on October 22, the Georgia Ports Authority reported the Port of Savannah handled an increase of 1.6% twenty-foot equivalent container units (TEUs) during the first quarter of fiscal year 2021, which began on July 1. The Port of Savannah is the top export gateway and fastest-growing container port in the U.S., providing cost-effective connections Georgia exporters need to compete globally.

About GDEcD
The Georgia Department of Economic Development (GDEcD) is the state’s sales and marketing arm, the lead agency for attracting new business investment, encouraging the expansion of existing industry and small businesses, locating new markets for Georgia products, attracting tourists to Georgia, and promoting the state as a destination for arts and location for film, music and digital entertainment projects, as well as planning and mobilizing state resources for economic development. Visit for more information.

Marie Hodge Gordon
Director of Communications

Alison Wentley
Communications Specialist

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Call: (478) 825-3826 or peachcountydevelopment@ymail.com425 James E. Khoury DriveUnit BFort Valley, Georgia 31030