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Since taking office, Mayor Kasim Reed has worked tirelessly in making Atlanta an international hub where people, ideas, goods and services from around the world converge and connect. Re-opening the Office of International Affairs in 2013 was an important step toward reaching this goal.
The mission of the Mayor’s Office of International Affairs (MOIA) is to develop and maintain relationships with Atlanta’s international community, foreign partners, and global constituents; growing the city’s visibility outside our borders and, ultimately, creating quality job opportunities for Atlantans through four key objectives:
Trade and Commerce
MOIA explores avenues for creating economic development opportunities to improve Atlanta’s position as a hub for international trade and commerce. Efforts are focused on attracting foreign direct investment, supporting Atlanta-based companies in their export initiatives, and organizing trade and business missions to countries around the world. Since re-opening MOIA, Atlanta’s exports have increased by $1.3 billion and a dozen foreign companies have established a presence in Atlanta—creating about 2,600 direct jobs and representing more than one billion dollars in new economic output.
With more than 150 domestic destinations and nearly 70 international destinations, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport serves as an essential tool in expanding Atlanta’s global presence. This is why MOIA has developed a strong relationship with Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport to attract new international routes. In 2016, the airport’s executive team and the Mayor’s Office of International Affairs, under Chief of Staff Candace Byrd’s leadership, helped attract non-stop flights from Atlanta to both Istanbul and Qatar.
International Events and Tourism
In 2015, the City of Atlanta was ranked the fourth most visited city in the United States with more than 50 million visitors who contributed approximately $15 billion to the local economy. To elevate these efforts, the Mayor’s Office of International Affairs, in partnership with the Atlanta Conventions and Visitors Bureau, works to attract large-scale international events to the City of Atlanta. To date, these efforts have attracted eight events that will draw more than 40,000 visitors to Atlanta—including the 2016 Clinton Global Initiative, the 2017 Rotary International Convention, the 2017 U.S.-China Tourism Leadership Summit, and more.
Maintain relationships with the more than 70 consular and trade offices, nearly 40 bi-national chambers, Atlanta’s 18 sister cities are at the forefront of our mission to elevating Atlanta’s international profile and expanding its global reach. Since re-opening, MOIA has also welcomed more than 300 international delegations from across the world. Business, academic, and political leaders traveled to Atlanta to foster economic ties, share best practices as well as develop student and cultural exchange opportunities.
Through these efforts, Atlanta was ranked 6th in the world by A.T. Kearney’s Global Cities Outlook for its opportunity to be one of the most competitive, influential cities in the world; named as one of nineteen “knowledge capitals” in the world by the Brookings Institution; and was selected to join the Rockefeller Foundation’s 100 Resilient Cities network in 2016 alone.
Through these efforts and with our global connectivity; young, talented, and culturally-conscious workforce; and our thriving business community; I know that Atlanta will continue to elevate its international presence to become a global powerhouse. We welcome you to discover Atlanta's international flavor through various initiatives, programs and events hosted by the Mayor's Office of International Affairs.