Share For Whom The Bell Rings 1:16 | Play story Add to My ListIn My List Related Stories ‘It’s Fractured’: Georgia Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan On Healing Republican Party Legal Advocate Discusses Medical Abuse At Shut Down Georgia ICE Facility Local companies are setting their sights abroad – more specifically to countries like South Korea, Germany and Brazil.Forty-four Georgia companies will be honored Monday night by Gov. Nathan Deal for establishing themselves internationally. 1:16Last year was another record year for Georgia. The state’s exports grew by 5 percent. And imports were up more than 11 percent.The goal is always to make sure your exports are greater than your imports, says Mary Waters. She oversees Georgia’s international trade team with the Georgia Department of Economic Development. “We know that companies that export tend to grow faster, pay higher wages, create twice as many jobs, and so the department as a whole has really focused efforts on helping Georgia be more successful in the international marketplace,” Waters says. The department markets Georgia products in 11 countries in Europe, South America and Asia. It also works on getting companies to move to Georgia.Jon Tanklage is president of Marukan Vinegar USA. It’s a Japanese rice vinegar brewing company that makes sake, soy sauce and vinegar. They plan to spend $13 million on a new facility in Griffin this summer. “We drew a triangle between three major hub cities in the East, with Atlanta being one of them,” Tanklage says. “And I think that the climate, the incentives that the state of Georgia was able to offer and then the property itself was very attractive for us.” He says it also helps that other Japanese companies like Yamaha and Mitsubishi Hitachi already have a presence in Georgia.