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May 3, 2016

Atlanta Metro Area Releases New Foreign Investment Strategy to Maximize Region’s Global Potential

Today, metro Atlanta announced the release of the Metro Atlanta Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) Plan, which outlines specific steps local business, civic, and government leaders can take to leverage foreign direct investment to grow global engagement. The release of the plan is integral to metro Atlanta’s participation in the Global Cities Initiative (GCI), a joint project of the Brookings Institution and JPMorgan Chase.

With more than 85 percent of global growth through 2019 projected to occur outside the United States, global engagement is a necessity if cities want to catalyze both their economies and their workforce. Global companies – those that export and receive foreign direct investment – pay higher average wages, contribute more to regional R&D efforts, and increase productivity of domestic markets through the infusion of new technologies and practices.

Key findings from the Metro Atlanta FDI Plan include:

  • Metro Atlanta’s global gateway advantages are central and indispensable in marketing the region globally.
  • Metro Atlanta’s IT resources combined with the region’s global gateway assets create a unique platform for a globally relevant technology industry ecosystem.
  • Merger & acquisitions are a major driver of foreign investment in the metro Atlanta market.
  • Aftercare for foreign-owned enterprises (FOEs) is too often an afterthought.
  • FOEs are at the forefront of resolving metro Atlanta’s workforce development challenges.

The plan was released today at the gathering of metro Atlanta’s key public and private stakeholders, including: Mayor Kasim Reed, City of Atlanta; Anne Kaiser, Vice President of Community and Economic Development, Georgia Power; Hala Moddelmog, President and CEO, Metro Atlanta Chamber; David Balos, Region Manager of Chase Commercial Banking in Georgia; and Nick Masino, Senior Vice President, Economic Development and Partnership Gwinnett, Gwinnett Chamber. It integrates recommendations from the Atlanta Metro Export Plan (MEP) and other work done under GCI.

"Leaders across the Atlanta region have committed to take tangible action on what our research shows is key to a strong, diverse economy,” said Marek Gootman, fellow and director of strategic partnerships and global initiatives at the Brookings Institution. “Through this planning process, metro Atlanta will determine how to better help local firms and the region take advantage of opportunities in the global marketplace.”

GCI includes a group of selected metro areas, chosen to participate through a competitive process. Participating metros are working to strengthen their international connections and competitiveness, executing regional trade and investment strategies that are yielding measurable results. Atlanta was one of the first metros to join GCI.

“Like every county and city in the metro Atlanta region, Gwinnett’s goals are to increase jobs and investment,” said Nick Masino from Gwinnett Chamber. “By successfully implementing this comprehensive strategy to increase foreign direct investment the region will accelerate its solid foundation of global business.”

“International trade and investment promotes local economic growth and creates new paths to job creation attracts capital, and builds stronger cities where more people can prosper,” said David Balos from JPMorgan Chase.

“Cultivating international trade and investment are integral to our growth strategy for the metro Atlanta region,” said Hala Moddelmog from the Metro Atlanta Chamber. “Metro Atlanta is already home to approximately 2,500 international facilities employing nearly 135,000 people, statistics which help illustrate the fact that the region is an exemplary place for international business. The FDI Plan will help further the work that we do in conjunction with our regional partners.”

For more findings and information on metro Atlanta’s foreign direct investment plan, please visit

The Global Cities Initiative is a joint-project of the Brookings Institution and JPMorgan Chase designed to help metropolitan leaders advance and grow their regional economies by strengthening international connections and competitiveness on key economic indicators. GCI activities include producing data and research to guide decisions, fostering practice and policy innovations, and facilitating a peer-learning network through replication and dissemination. For more information, see or


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