Political Insider

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Nathan Deal to watch Georgia Tech opener in Ireland trade mission

Gov. Nathan Deal will embark on a four-day economic development mission to Ireland on Thursday, where he'll take in Georgia Tech's season opener against Boston College and try to drum up business from Irish firms.

Ireland is not a major trading partner, but it's a growing one. Georgia exported $146 million worth of goods to Ireland in 2015, including aircraft and medical equipment, making it the state's 46th largest market. Georgia's imports from Ireland totaled about $776 million, including perfumes and beer.

Deal's itinerary in Dublin includes meetings with biotech giant Shire, tech support company Voxpro and manufacturing firm Oldcastle, which has its North American headquarters in Dunwoody.

The governor's trip comes on the heels of a visit to Germany just after the United Kingdom's decision to leave the European Union sent a jolt through foreign markets. He has also led trade missions to Brazil, China, South Korea, Japan, Israel and Panama.

The delegation includes Georgia Tech president Bud Peterson, who is set to speak at a reception hosted by U.S. Ambassador Kevin O'Malley, and Coca-Cola chief executive Muhtar Kent, who headlines a Boston College CEO Club luncheon.

The highlight of the trip is Georgia Tech's Saturday matchup in Dublin, the team's first game ever off American soil. The governor is to attend a tailgate at Dublin’s Aviva Stadium and perform the coin toss before the game.

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About the Author

Greg Bluestein is a political reporter who covers the governor's office and state politics for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.