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Georgia's deepwater ports help state through recession

May 26 - According to Georgia Ports Authority (GPA) executive director Curtis J. Foltz, the results of a recent study confirm that Georgia's deepwater ports continue to be one of the state's strongest economic engines, fostering the development of virtual

"I am pleased to report that the Ports of Savannah and Brunswick have maintained and created jobs for Georgia, despite the recent economic downturn," said Foltz. "The fundamental finding of this study is that the state's strategic decisions to invest in our two deepwater ports have contributed to substantial economic activity in Georgia."

The study entitled, "The Economic Impact of Georgia's Deepwater Ports on Georgia's Economy in FY2009" reveals, that even during one of the worst recessions since the Great Depression, Georgia's ports sustained jobs and increased its economic impact for the state. The study was conducted by the Terry College of Business at the University of Georgia based on statistics from July 1, 2008 through June 30, 2009.

"The outstanding performance of Georgia's deepwater ports reflects strong competitive advantages that allowed it to expand its market share," claimed GPA's chairman of the Board Stephen S. Green. "These advantages are largely the result of strategic investments in port facilities by our state's leadership".

According to the study, Georgia's deepwater ports support 295,422 full-time and part-time jobs, which is nearly seven percent of Georgia's total employment, or 9,000 additional jobs since the last study was conducted in 2006. This means that one job out of every 15 in Georgia is in some way dependent upon its ports.

"These economic impacts demonstrate that continued emphasis on imports and exports through Georgia's ports translates into jobs, higher incomes, greater production of goods and services and revenue collections for government," said Dr. Jeffrey M. Humphreys, Director of the Selig Center at the University of Georgia's Terry College of Business. "As the state and national economies gain momentum, Georgia's deepwater ports will thrive, generating even more substantial economic impacts in future fiscal years."

Port operations help to preserve Georgia's manufacturing base and foster growth of the state's massive logistics, distribution and warehousing sectors. The ports are especially supportive of the state's thriving 
agricultural industry.

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