Metro Atlanta Selected to Develop New Market Prioritization and Metropolitan Economic Partnership Strategies as Part of the Global Cities Initiative

July 17, 2017

Participation seeks to deepen the impact of metropolitan trade strategies that will help metro Atlanta determine how to best to strengthen global economic engagement with international counterparts

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ATLANTA – June 27, 2017 – Metro Atlanta leaders announced the region’s selection to join a group of eight city-regions seeking to amplify the impact of metropolitan trade strategies through new research and problem-solving that will determine how city-regions can best prioritize and execute international economic partnerships with international metro counterparts. This new effort is part of the Global Cities Initiative, a joint project of Brookings and JPMorgan Chase, building upon the foundation of Metro Atlanta’s participation in the Global Cities Exchange.

“Even with strong trade and investment strategies, all metros face resource and capacity constraints to engaging internationally. In the global market haystack, metros need tools to focus on where they are most likely to find the needles,” said Marek Gootman, Brookings fellow and director of strategic partnerships and global initiatives. “We selected this diverse group of metros to test new approaches to identify, prioritize and structure economic connections with specific foreign counterparts for maximum returns.”

Selected by Brookings through a competitive application process, Atlanta will join Columbus, Louisville/Lexington, Philadelphia, Phoenix, San Antonio, San Diego and Wichita in producing a locally tailored market prioritization assessment and initiating or expanding at least one metro-to-metro collaboration. The regions will provide a detailed work plan for building out those relationships and establish an approach that can be replicated by other metropolitan areas.

Metro Atlanta will be represented by multiple organizations, including the Metro Atlanta Chamber, the Georgia Department of Economic Development, the city of Atlanta and Partnership Gwinnett working in partnership with several other regional and local economic development organizations, public and private agencies.

“Like every county and city in the metro Atlanta region, Fayetteville’s goals are to increase jobs and investment,” said Emily Poole, director of economic development for the city of Fayetteville, Georgia. “By successfully implementing this ‘where geography meets our clusters’ approach, our region will become more strategic in prioritizing our international partnerships. This, in turn, will allow us to accelerate metro Atlanta’s solid foundation of global business.”

In the first phase, GCI metros will apply a new evidence-based methodology to prioritize international markets for high-potential economic relationships. Through an assessment, each metro area will identify existing and potential market connections, sector synergies and growth trends (global market prioritization). Following this phase, the cohort will examine different models to operationalize international metro–level economic partnerships targeted through prioritization, based on testing bilateral and multi-lateral sectoral, geographic and intermediary relationships (metro-to-metro economic collaboration).

Since its launch, the Global Cities Initiative has raised awareness about the importance of international economic connections and competitiveness for growth and job creation and spurred dozens of metropolitan areas to reorient their economic strategies toward engaging world markets. GCI has become a hub for coalitions of metro leaders across public, private and civic sectors to connect with their counterparts for peer learning, problem-solving and economic collaboration.

“Atlanta is a true global city, and we’re delighted it’s getting this critical support to further develop international growth strategies,” said David Balos, head of Chase Middle Market Banking. “We must look beyond our metro area for growth opportunities. This effort will create international economic connections for local businesses and greater economic opportunity for all residents.”

Metro Atlanta has been a part of the Global Cities Initiative since 2014. The regional partners released the Atlanta Metro Export Plan (Atlanta MEP) in 2015, and the Metro Atlanta Foreign Direct Investment Plan (Metro Atlanta FDI Plan) followed in 2016. One of the more noteworthy programs built as a result of Atlanta’s participation in GCI has been the Atlanta Metro Export Challenge (Atlanta MEC), which launched in November 2015. In 2016, 38 metro Atlanta companies received more than $225,000 in grants. This year, metro Atlanta companies will receive $200,000 in reimbursable grants to grow their international sales capacity and activities.

To learn more about the Global Cities Initiative, visit or


About the Metro Atlanta Chamber

The Metro Atlanta Chamber (MAC) serves as a catalyst for a more prosperous and vibrant region. To advance economic growth and improve metro Atlanta's quality of place, MAC is focused on starting, growing and recruiting companies to the 29-county metro Atlanta region. The Chamber is also focused on growing the region's innovation economy by promoting and strengthening connections to drive Atlanta's innovation and entrepreneurial culture. MAC is committed to being an active voice for the business community, serving as an advocate for a competitive business climate and telling Atlanta's story. For more information, visit

About the Brookings Institution

The Brookings Institution is a non-profit organization. Its mission is to conduct high-quality, independent research and, based on that research, to provide innovative, practical recommendations for policymakers and the public. Brookings recognizes the value it provides in its absolute commitment to quality, independence, and impact, and makes all final determinations of the scholarly activities in the Global Cities Initiative, including the research agenda and products.

About the Global Cities Initiative

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. GCI activities include producing data and research to guide decisions, fostering practice and policy innovations, and facilitating a peer-learning network. For more information, visit or