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Monday, January 14, 2013 - 11:48am

Savannah Looks To Global Business

Savannah officials have identified ten countries that have the most potential for future business with the coastal city.

Savannah's World Trade Center came up with the list after a year-long process that studied dozens of criteria.

It looked at where the city and state already have contacts and where contacts are poised for growth.

The center's Trip Tollison says he expected large trading partners such as Canada, the UK, Germany and Brazil to be on the list.

But the potential in other countries is a revelation.

"With Nigeria's oil production and a lot of the stuff that they're doing with energy resources, it makes some sense as we look at some of we're doing on the East Coast, especially as it relates to exporting natural gas," Tollison says. "And South Africa, that was a surprise, too."

Japan, Portugal and Israel made the list in part because of firms like Mitsubishi, Efecac and Gulfstream that already do business between those countries and the Savannah area.

Turkey is noted for its fast-growing economy and Governor Nathan Deal's trade mission there last year.

The center's Trip Tollison says selections were based partly on existing connections.

"When I say connections, I mean, where does the state have an economic development office, where does the Georgia Ports Authority have an economic development office, what kind of activities are we getting," Tollison says. "And when I say activities, I mean on the lead generation side."

The World Trade Center Savannah aims to boost the area's international trade.