The State of Georgia is an exporting powerhouse. 2019 marked a record year for Georgia’s exports to the world amounting to $41.2 Billion USD. Despite the difficulties caused by the pandemic, Georgia again ranked in the top 10 states for exports in 2020 with $38.8 Billion USD worth of goods leaving our shores for customers abroad. Canada has long been and remains the number one destination for Georgia made products. However, Georgia’s products are exported to every continent except Antarctica. Exports to Europe, Asia and the Americas are particularly strong. In 2020 Georgia’s products were exported to places as diverse as Greenland, Niue, Bhutan, Andorra, San Marino and East Timor among many others. Products exported range from automotive, aerospace, agriculture, chemicals, forestry products and fintech software. These products only reflect the tip of the iceberg of products exported from the Peach State.
The reasons for this success are various. Fabulous port facilities, a world class airport, extensive rail lines, great interstate access and a well -developed logistics industry are some of the factors. Georgia has consistently been ranked as the best state to do business in for many years. Low overhead and excellent job training programs aid the state in attracting manufacturers. On top of this, the Georgia Department of Economic Development and local economic development agencies greatly aid exporters with their entry into the global market. Indeed, the State of Georgia maintains offices in twelve countries to facilitate foreign trade, investment and tourism. These efforts pay off in a big way.
When exports are discussed, large companies certainly come to mind. However, exports from small to mid-sized companies are a very important and growing part of the export economy. Take the Athens, Georgia based artist Stan Mullins for example. While his business is small, his sculptures are not. Indeed, his latest creation, a twenty feet tall sculpture of Chief Tomochichi weighs in at close to four tons. The massive monument will soon be permanently located in the new Rodney Cook, Sr. Park in Atlanta. Like other small exporters, Mullins has exported his works of art across the globe and can be found in Europe, Africa, Asia, the Americas and Australia.
While there are great opportunities in exporting there are also perils. The chief among them is making sure the exporter is paid. This is where lawyers can help. Contract drafting is a key component of any contract for export. In a perfect world one would receive all of their money before a product is shipped. However, oftentimes a down payment and a letter of credit from a reputable bank for the balance owed are components of a transaction. Clear contractual language on the rights and obligations of both parties should be utilized to ensure a smooth transaction occurs. Binding international arbitration clauses can give some degree of protection, the strength of which depends on how well the rule of law is enforced in the country where the buyer resides. There are many issues to consider when exporting. Customs, shipping cost, insurance and governing law are among things to consider. An exporter needs to assemble a team of professionals to help them through the process. Oftentimes this team consists of a lawyer, insurance agent, banker and a customs broker depending on the nature of the transaction.
Wanting to increase the bottom line of your company? Be bold and consider exporting. But just as in a domestic transaction, cover your legal bases to make sure you don’t get burned. When you need help with legal matters and important contracts, call the one you can trust. Contact Chris today … click here.