In a notable development for the US state of Georgia, two prominent South Korean companies, DAS, an automotive parts manufacturer, and CJ Foodville, a subsidiary of the CJ Group, have announced substantial foreign direct investment (FDI) initiatives. These strategic moves underscore Georgia’s growing appeal as an FDI destination.
DAS is set to establish a manufacturing facility in Candler County, entailing an investment exceeding $35 million (equivalent to 46.68 billion won). This venture is poised to generate employment opportunities for up to 300 individuals within the region. Sean Kim, Chief Operating Officer at DAS, highlighted the pivotal role played by Georgia’s strategic location, with its proximity to major cities such as Savannah and Macon, facilitating convenient access.
The revelation of DAS’s proposed facility closely follows the recent announcement by Hyundai and LG of their joint plan to invest $2 billion in an electric vehicle (EV) battery plant situated in Bryan County, Georgia.
Kim elaborated on DAS’s decision, stating, “Looking ahead to future expansion prospects, we deemed Metter [the city in Candler County hosting the DAS project] to be an ideal location in anticipation of its role as a global electric vehicle production hub, thanks to its close proximity to Hyundai Motor Group Metaplant America.”
In a separate development, CJ Foodville, a South Korean enterprise, disclosed its intention to establish a food processing facility and bakery in Gainesville, Georgia. This $47 million project is projected to yield over 19,000 tonnes of products annually and create 285 jobs within Hall County. The construction of the facility is scheduled for completion in 2025.
Tony Hunsoo Ahn, CEO of CJ Foodville USA, elaborated on the decision, stating, “Based on our strong profitability, we have decided to establish a factory in the US to enhance our production and supply capabilities in response to the expanding scale of the Tous les Jours business.” Tous les Jours is a bakery franchise owned by CJ Foodville.
Hunsoo Ahn emphasised the commitment to promote the unique competitiveness of the K-Bakery, founded on excellent product quality across a diverse range of bread and cakes. He further articulated the ultimate goal of establishing the Tous les Jours brand as a globally cherished bakery brand transcending borders and captivating palates worldwide.
The CJ Group, a South Korean conglomerate, stands as one of the largest food service and food processing companies in South Korea. In 2022, the company reported total sales of $22.54 billion, marking a remarkable 14% increase compared to 2021 ($19.7 billion).
A report released by McKinsey in December 2022 underscores Georgia’s thriving economy, with a projected gross domestic product (GDP) growth of up to $189 billion over the next decade. These figures further enhance Georgia’s attractiveness as an FDI destination.
Pat Wilson, Commissioner of the Georgia Department of Economic Development, commented on the state’s economic diversity and its role in attracting investments from international partners. Wilson noted, “CJ Foodville’s investment is a great example of both the diversity of our economy and the investments coming from our international partners.”
Georgia’s ability to foster economic diversity and resilience positions it as a compelling destination for FDI, as evidenced by the recent commitments from South Korean corporations DAS and CJ Foodville.