When Agio Press Inc. launched the Global Business Reporter
in the fall of 1991, we felt that the time had arrived for a
newsletter that seriously considered the importance of the
global economy to the Southeast.
The announcement that the 1996 Summer Olympics would
be held in Atlanta, the region’s commercial capital, already
had done a lot to give Atlanta name recognition.
From today’s perspective, it all seems so obvious that the city
and the state of Georgia were on the cusp of something big.
Metro Atlanta is now home to some 1,600 international
companies – a 50 percent increase since Atlanta hosted
the Olympic Games. Twenty percent of the expansions and
relocations to Atlanta in the past 10 years were derived from
international companies, according to figures newly released
by the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce.
Of course, Atlanta had benefited from the success of the
Coca-Cola Co., which resisted being called a "multinational,"
preferring "multilocal" as a designation. And there were
others that had been doing business internationally for years,
not to mention Georgia’s producers of cotton, peanuts, and
other agricultural goods.
The big step for Atlanta, however, was to lay claim to the
development of a global economy as opposed to just
conducting business internationally.
National borders wouldn’t go away. What was going on
within those borders, however, had changed with increasing
cross-border mergers and acquisitions, foreign direct
investment, outsourcing, and trade.
The response too often was a yawn or frowns brought about
by threat of the loss of manufacturing jobs or a change in the
By the mid-1990s, whether you liked it or not, the impact of
the global economy was evident. If the world still wasn’t flat,
it was smaller, and Atlanta did have the foresight to capitalize
on its tradition as a transportation center and the presence of
Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.
Today it seems almost impossible to quantify all the
important benefits that the city and state enjoy from being
an international business center. At least 15 multinational,
Atlanta-based companies have operations in some 20
These include most of the city’s and state’s best known
companies, such as CNN, Coca-Cola Enterprises and Coca-
Cola Co., United Parcel Services Inc., Equifax Inc., Serologicals
Corp., S1 Corp., Internet Security Systems Inc., Manhattan
Associates Inc., and GE Energy, an affiliate of the General
Electric Co. In addition, some of the world’s largest foreign
companies have regional headquarters in the metro area,
including Siemens Corp., ING Americas, Philips Electronics
NV, and Intercontinental Hotels Group PLC.
We at Agio Press Inc. share the conviction that global business
is not another trend, but a new, challenging environment in
which the world’s business is being conducted.
Phil Bolton is founder of Agio Press, Inc. Agio Press publishes GlobalFax,
GlobalAtlanta, NewsFlash, GlobalAtlanta Newsletter, GlobalFlash, and
GlobalAtlanta International Business Calendar. You can keep up on
international happenings in Atlanta by going to