This is the second article in a new GlobalAtlanta series on the best practices of various medium-sized cities in attracting foreign investment and developing their international business communities. Last week, we focused on Montreal. This week, we take a look at Dallas, Texas.

Like Atlanta, Dallas is pursuing various means of developing its international business community, including using its chamber of commerce to seek out potential foreign investors.

The Greater Dallas Chamber of Commerce Inc. fosters the economic and business development of the 12-county Dallas metropolitan area, referred to as the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex. The Metroplex had a population of 5.6 million in 2003, making it the fifth largest United States metropolitan area.

The chamber organizes international business development missions to various countries to promote trade and business relationships. It also invites inbound trade delegations from around the world to introduce Dallas companies to potential foreign business partners.

The chamber’s investment missions focus on promoting the metro area abroad as a location for foreign companies to set up operations. The chambers’ investment missions for 2005 include those to China, Mexico, Canada and the United Kingdom, in that order, to target the technology, financial services, call centers and manufacturing industries.

The Dallas chamber also has representatives in London, hosted by Weil, Gotshal and Manges LLP, and in Shanghai, China, hosted by Jones Day, that assist in identifying potential investors in the Dallas area, as well as potential business partners for Dallas companies.

Quarterly international issues forums held at the chamber inform participants about federal and regional legislation related to international trade. This year’s luncheons highlighted topics of emerging markets, globalization, immigration reform and others.

The chamber also holds an annual international business achievement award luncheon that recognizes a small- to medium-sized company, a large corporation and an individual who have contributed the most to the international business development of the Dallas region. This year’s luncheon, to be held Wednesday, Sept. 14, is to feature keynote speaker Todd Stitzer, CEO of Cadbury Schweppes UK.

Dallas area importers meet quarterly at the chamber to discuss international business issues and related legislation affecting imports and customs. The chamber also provides export financing for member companies through its partnership with the Ex-Im Bank, as well as a U.S. Department of Commerce office inside the chamber.

The chamber also produces an international trade newsletter, and its Web site provides links to various international trade resources, including a local directory of international and local businesses.

Contact Renee Bromfield, director of international business, at (214) 712-1968 or Sharon Venable, vice president of international at the chamber, at (214) 712-1933. For general information, contact the chamber at (214) 746-6600 or visit