Atlanta Selected to Join Global Cities Initiative’s New Exchange Network

  Atlanta Selected to Join Global Cities Initiative’s New Exchange Network

Business Wire

ATLANTA -- November 21, 2013

Today, Atlanta is joining a new exchange network created by the Global Cities
Initiative, a joint project of Brookings and JPMorgan Chase. The Exchange is a
network of metropolitan areas committed to establishing actionable plans that
will promote greater global trade and economic competitiveness. Brookings
selected metropolitan areas to join the network after an extensive application
process that evaluated regions’ readiness and capability to pursue the
Exchange’s curriculum and commitment to fulfill its goals.

Atlanta is one of eight inaugural Exchange metro areas that will design and
implement a regional export plan in 2014. The network will expand over time to
include additional U.S. and international cities working together to
strengthen their local economies through increased engagement with the rest of
the world. This builds on the Global Cities Initiative’s work, which equips
metropolitan leaders with the information, policy ideas, and global
connections they need to bolster their regions’ positions in the global
economy. The city hosted a forum in March 2013, where the Mayor announced
plans to develop an Export Plan for the city, in collaboration with the Metro
Atlanta Chamber of Commerce, JPMorgan Chase and other partners.

“For the Exchange, we selected metro areas that are committed to expanding
their global economic reach by working together to identify regional
competitive strengths and increase exports,” said Brad McDearman, Brookings
fellow. “The eight metro areas selected for this round represent a growing
group of U.S. metro areas that understand the need to embrace the global
market to remain competitive in the 21st century economy.”

Rapid urbanization in mature and developing markets is creating a new consumer
class and 85 percent of global GDP growth is projected to occur outside the
U.S. between 2013 and 2018. This is a great opportunity for U.S. firms and
local economies to achieve economic growth to capitalize on their distinctive
assets and expand their global trade and investment strategies.

“We’re delighted that Atlanta will be a part of this new network – it’s
exactly the kind of innovative planning that is needed to ensure our
community’s long-term economic success,” said David Balos, Market Manager for
JPMorgan Chase in Atlanta. “We have a long history of helping businesses
connect to global markets and now the Exchange brings additional resources to
help our region’s leaders design strategies to further create jobs and grow
our economy through greater global engagement.”

Metro area leaders play a critical role in promoting trade and developing
infrastructure. Atlanta is uniquely positioned to make exports and global
engagement a central, consistent part of broader regional economic strategies.
Regional economic development leaders representing both the public and private
sectors can help local firms access new markets and align existing export
services because they know their regions best. These leaders are also best
equipped to coordinate regional assets—such as skills training, innovation
capacities, and freight and logistics—to better support global trade.

Atlanta will join Greenville, S.C.; Indianapolis; Jacksonville, Fla.;
Milwaukee; Phoenix; Sacramento, Calif.; and Wichita, Kan., in the Exchange’s
inaugural class, which will work together over the next four years to
establish new metro-to-metro relationships and to share best practices in
global economic development.

Atlanta will be represented in the Exchange by a team of local leaders
including Jorge Fernandez, VP of Global Commerce, Metro Atlanta Chamber; Ric
Hubler, Senior Director, Global Trade Development, Metro Atlanta Chamber;
Kelly Sydney, Vice President, Research, Metro Atlanta Chamber; Claire Angelle,
International Affairs Director, City of Atlanta; and Kevin Johnson, Senior
Economic Development Officer, Invest Atlanta.

“Our engagement in this exchange network is very important as we move forward
in the planning and execution of a regional export plan for metro Atlanta.
Exports are a key driver for our economy and they are critical to the growth,
global fluency and competitiveness of our companies,” said Jorge Fernandez,
Vice President of Global Commerce for the Metro Atlanta Chamber.

As part of the Exchange, Atlanta will first develop a regional export plan and
later integrate a foreign direct investment strategy. Together these plans,
which may also grow to include logistics and advanced industries, will
comprise a customized global engagement strategy to strengthen the region's
global economic connections and competitiveness. Currently, the city is
engaging in research to seek input from local businesses. Companies interested
in providing input can visit:

The leaders of Atlanta’s Exchange team will join those of the other accepted
metropolitan areas at Brookings in Washington, D.C., in December to
participate in their first working group session, where they will learn how to
develop an export plan as part of a global economic development strategy.
Throughout the four-year Exchange, participating metros will periodically
convene for in-person working groups and will continually engage in curriculum
via conference calls and webinars.

The inaugural cohort of eight metropolitan areas will join twelve that are
already involved in Brookings-led metropolitan export planning. Charleston,
S.C.; Chicago; Columbus, Ohio; Des Moines, Iowa; Los Angeles;
Louisville-Lexington, Ky.; Minneapolis-Saint Paul; Portland, Ore.; San
Antonio; San Diego; Syracuse, N.Y.; and Tampa Bay, Fla., are all existing
members of the Brookings Metropolitan Export Initiative and have been invited
to continue their work as part of the Global Cities Exchange.

In addition to these 20 metro areas, the Global Cities Initiative will support
strategic economic engagements in select international markets. Last week in
México City, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and México City Mayor Miguel Ángel
Mancera announced the first international engagement of the Exchange by
signing an agreement to formalize and strengthen their cities’ economic
partnership. The two cities will work together to expand exports, foreign
investment, skilled workforce and research endeavors.

Launched in 2012, the Global Cities Initiative is a five-year joint project of
Brookings and JPMorgan Chase aimed at helping city and metropolitan leaders
become more globally fluent by providing an in-depth and data-driven look at
their regional standing on crucial global economic measures, highlighting best
policy and practice innovations from around the world, and creating an
international network of leaders who ultimately trade and grow together. For
more information please visit or

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