Download the FDI plan here.

Atlanta has conquered myopia in its international investment recruitment efforts — at least according to the Brookings Institution, which did a short profile on the city ahead of last week’s Global Cities Summit, attended by Mayor Kasim Reed

The piece discusses “new thinking” that has arisen in the metro area, where cities, counties and other entities once hotly competed with each other for international investment. 

The change is crystallized in a story about Nick Masino, senior vice president for economic development at the Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce, who says he visited a Chinese government office one year, only to find that Atlanta officials had been there a few weeks earlier: 

“We’re on the same team.” Masino said, describing the new thinking. “A win for one of us is a win for all of us. A win for my neighbors in the counties around me is a win for us because we’re all metro Atlanta. I don’t think I would have even said that three years ago, and if I would, I would have thought I’d get struck by lightning.”

The profile comes at a time the Metro Atlanta Chamber is leading the implementation of a new region-wide strategy for recruiting international investment, employing lessons learned through a regional export promotion plan also completed with support from the Brookings Institution’s Global Cities Initiative.  

The Metro Export Plan, coordinated by the chamber, has conducted road shows around the 29-county region to highlight the importance of helping companies sell overseas. The Brookings profile  quotes Jorge Fernandez, vice president of global commerce at the chamber, as saying the exercise created a “common trust” that will carry over to investment recruitment plan.

Of course, collaboration among metro counties on export promotion is one thing: Everyone can get behind growing jobs by boosting foreign sales. It’s another thing to ground in reality assertions that a win for one metro-area county is really considered a win for all the others. 

Despite the collaboration on selling the region overseas, regional tensions still exist, especially as the City of Atlanta pulls many corporate giants on the fringes of the metro area into its borders. NCR Corp., once the darling of Gwinnett when it moved headquarters there in 2009, is a prime example: The financial technology giant is now building a $260 million headquarters in Midtown Atlanta, lured in part by incentives. WorldPay moved from north Fulton in the same way. 

Still, the metro chamber is doing its best to bridge the gap, enlisting voices from across the region as it hammers out what the Atlanta FDI plan will look like when put into action. 

If the logos of its partners on its website are any indication, the effort has attracted a broad base of support, and the metro FDI report highlights a few initiatives that show how much thought has already gone into charting a shared future on FDI. The chamber is in the process of repeating the road shows to reveal the new strategic initiatives, and it’s building a new it’s building a new online portal for the FDI initiative. 

Download the report here or visit

As managing editor of Global Atlanta, Trevor has spent 15+ years reporting on Atlanta’s ties with the world. An avid traveler, he has undertaken trips to 30+ countries to uncover stories on the perils...

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