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Georgia governor promotes investment in state during trip to Korea
2024-06-21
Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp gathered major Korean auto and battery companies like Hyundai Motor and LG Energy Solution on Monday to promote the U.S. state as a key investment destination in a bid to lure further investment.
 
The Georgia Night event, hosted by the state's government, came during Kemp's one-week visit to Korea, his first in five years. Around 100 executives from major Korean companies were invited, with attendees including Hyundai Motor CEO Chang Jae-hoon, Kia CEO Song Ho-sung and LG Energy Solution CEO Kim Dong-myung.
 
“When I became governor in 2019, my first international economic development trip was to Korea; and since then the connection between Georgia and Korea has only grown with transformational new investments come to all corners of our state," Kemp said during his opening speech at the event held at the Conrad Seoul in Yeouido, western Seoul. “Korean companies have only continued to push the state to new heights, becoming part of their adopted communities.”
 
Korean companies are now the state's largest investors, with about $23 billion in projects committed over the last decade.
 
Kemp's visit, which started on June 12, included a meeting with Hyundai's Chang for in-depth discussions about the automaker's $5.5 billion EV-dedicated factory in Georgia, the largest manufacturing project that the state has ever secured.
 
The plant will produce EVs and hybrid cars, with operations scheduled to start in October.
 
Kemp also held a one-hour tea meeting with executives of SK affiliates including SK Innovation Executive Vice Chairman Chey Jae-won and SK On CEO Lee Seok-hee.
 
SK On is building a $5 billion battery plant jointly with Hyundai Motor, which is slated to start production in the second half of 2025. The battery-making firm is also operating two $2.6 billion battery plants in the city of Commerce.
 
Kemp also held talks with LG Energy Solution's Kim about the battery maker's $4.3 billion under-construction battery cell plant with Hyundai Motor.
 
In 2023 alone, Korean companies made over $10 billion in investments in Georgia, creating some 12,506 new jobs. Korea's trade volume with the U.S. state stood at $15.8 billion, around 10 percent of its total.
 
Kemp also toured the Korean demilitarized zone (DMZ) on the first day of his visit.
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