A Georgia delegation composed of local government, business, and higher
education leaders traveled to four cities in China and South Korea July
7–19 on a trip coordinated by the Vinson Institute’s International
Center. The leadership delegation sought to strengthen existing
relationships with international partners and create new opportunities
for collaboration with other organizations. It also worked to reinforce
the growing economic relationships between Georgia and China and South
Korea and make connections that could facilitate greater investments in
the future.

The Georgia group included University System of Georgia Vice Chancellor
Steve Wrigley, UGA Vice President for Public Service and Outreach
Jennifer Frum, Vinson Institute Director Laura Meadows, President Billy
Trapnell and First Vice President John Reid from the Georgia Municipal
Association, and a representative from Georgia Power. Their travels took
them to Beijing, Shanghai, and Xi’an in China and Seoul, South Korea.

During the trip, the leadership delegation met with executive officials
from Chinese and Korean local governments as well as other government
officials and business leaders. In China, the group visited with
representatives from the Beijing Administrative College, the Shanghai
Administration Institute, the Shanghai Organization Department, and the
Shaanxi Party School. The delegation’s activities in South Korea
included meetings with representatives from Kia Motors, the Seoul
Municipal Government (SMG), the Governors Association of Korea (GAOK),
the University of Seoul, the Human Resource Development Institute, and
the Seoul Business Agency.

The Institute’s International Center has a long history of connecting
Georgia’s leaders with public and private sector officials throughout
the world. Since 1999, it has worked extensively in cities and provinces
around the China to create cultural exchange opportunities between
Georgia and Chinese organizations and individuals. It has also
coordinated professional development and training programs for more than
1,400 Chinese government officials, many taught by practitioners from
Georgia’s state and local governments.

In 2011, the Vinson Institute signed memoranda of understanding with SMG
and GAOK to provide short- and long-term training programs for South
Korean officials. Since that time, a number of Korean officials have
traveled to Georgia and throughout the United States to promote closer
ties between government and business leaders.