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Agribiz: Gov. Deal, Ga. leaders plan trade summit in Turkey
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Hopefully more trade negotiations and explorations will open significant doors for Georgia agriculture and other industries. This could only mean good things for our area with poultry being a No. 1 export from the area to the rest of the country and world.

Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal is leading a high-level state delegation to three cities in Turkey from May 25-June 2.

The group includes top state officials, including Brian Kemp, Georgia secretary of state; Gary Black, secretary of agriculture; Hank Huckaby, chancellor of the University System of Georgia; and Chris Cummiskey, commissioner of the Georgia Department of Economic Development.

Other participants include Chris Clark, president of the Georgia Chamber of Commerce, and Curtis Foltz, executive director of the Georgia Ports Authority.

The group will visit Istanbul, the commercial center; Ankara, the capital; and Mersin, where they will meet with government and business leaders to discuss opportunities to promote business and trade, especially in agriculture.

Georgia exported $609 million worth of goods to Turkey in 2011, up 6 percent from the previous year. The country of more than 72 million has had one of the fastest-growing economies in the world in recent years.

Top Georgia exports to Turkey, such as cotton/fabric, machinery and vehicles, all more than doubled in the first quarter of 2012 compared to the same period last year, according to the governor’s office.

This will be Deal’s first trip to Turkey as governor. He has visited the country multiple times, most recently in 2006.

Deal has already visited Europe and China since taking office in 2011.

Michael Wheeler is county extension coordinator for the UGA Cooperative Extension in Hall County. You can contact him at 770-535-8293, www.hallcounty.org/extension. His column appears biweekly on Thursday’s Business page and at gainesvilletimes.com.

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