Guest Commentary: Standing Up for International Development Yields Gains for Georgia

Pact and Microsoft  are working together in the DRC to prevent child labor.

 

By Frank Sims

Mr. Sims is a resident of Atlanta, Ga. He retired from Cargill Inc. in 2007, where he worked for more than 30 years in numerous roles, including as president of the company’s North American grain division and as a corporate vice president. He is currently serving as president of Fisk University in Nashville, Tenn., and on the Board of Directors of Pact, an international development NGO based in Washington, D.C. Sims earned his bachelor’s degree in business administration at Paul Quinn College in Dallas, Texas.

Health care, immigration, the opioid epidemic. With so many challenges in our own backyards, it is easy to understand why many Americans might shy away from challenges overseas that don’t seem to directly affect us. We don’t live in a vacuum. For better or worse, we live in a rapidly globalizing world. An increase in the price of one commodity ripples throughout global markets, and ends up impacting supply, demand and prices here at home. We can’t turn a blind eye to issues outside the borders of the United States.

That is why what happens globally directly impacts a state like Georgia—a state with a comparable nominal GDP to countries like Norway, Austria and Singapore.

Frank Sims, president of Fisk University

With 26 Fortune 1000 companies headquartered in metro Atlanta and with 95 percent of the world’s consumers outside of the U.S., our economic success is also deeply tied to the global economy and economic development around the world.

We are reminded of this time and again: In 2014, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Emory University Hospital brought two infected American responders to the Ebola crisis in West Africa to our doorstep. And in March 2016, when a suspicious package set off panic at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta Internationalthe world’s…

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