News & Press

International interest in Middle Georgia is high

A Georgia Department of Economic Development list of more than 60 international businesses with midstate operations -- some headquartered as far as 10,000 miles from the Peach State -- reads almost like a geography book.

Consider this: Blue Bird Body Co., which builds school buses in Fort Valley, is based in the Netherlands while YKK, which makes zippers and commercial architectural products in Macon and Dublin, is based in Japan. Boral Bricks Inc., a Macon brick manufacturer, has a home base in Australia. And Pactiv LLC, which manufactures egg cartons here, is headquartered in New Zealand.

International companies make up nearly 20 percent of all businesses in the state,  “…… international firms are looking for the same basic thing as U.S. firms...They are interested in workforce, a good site, access to suppliers and markets,” said Macon Economic Development Commission Sr. Vice President, Pat Topping.  

Some of the international-based companies in Middle Georgia have long ties here. For example, YKK, the world’s largest zipper manufacturer, began construction of its Macon plant in 1974. Jessica Kennett Cork, YKK manager of public relations and communications, said in an email. “Most significant to YKK executives, however, were the friendly Maconites themselves, who assured YKK that it would find a warm welcome and a capable work force from Macon and Bibb County, Georgia.

“Forty years later, most YKK employees agree that while Macon’s (location) ... certainly make(s) Macon an ideal place to do business, the warm hospitality shown to our company by the people of Macon is what makes Macon our home.”

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