When we're abroad, it sometimes seems that the Atlanta news wheel spins faster, leaving a mountain of stories to write when we return.
For that reason we don't get out as often as we'd like, but when we do, we dive deep. For us, globetrotting isn't just for fun (though it really is). Atlanta readers are at the forefront of our minds, and decisions about where to go and what to cover are undergirded by two questions:
1. What relevance does this story/trend have to Atlanta's emergence as a global business center?
2. How can a reader in Atlanta use this source/insight to grow their business internationally?
This ongoing quest led us to provide four country snapshots in 2012 based on our first-hand reporting overseas:
Nearly 20 years after hosting what some consider to be the exemplary Olympics for squeezing the long-term value out of infrastructure investments, Atlanta is still relevant to the discussion on how cities plan for the Games.
London didn't shy away from tapping this expertise when fashioning its Olympic legacy plans. Atlanta was not only a model, but it also provided concrete advice on city regeneration and security practices. A few Atlanta-based companies that came out of the 1996 Olympic movement even won deals in London.
For Global Atlanta, the Olympic connection and the hubbub around the Queen's Diamond Jubilee were cause for a December 2011 trip across the Pond. We hoped to gain a fresh look at a $3 billion trading relationship and investment ties that have resulted in jobs for more than 30,000 Georgians.
Report: All Eyes on the U.K.
While many see Africa as the "last frontier" for the global economy, and U.S. officials often sing the praises of the business opportunities there, it's sometimes hard to find the evidence among local companies beyond juggernauts like Coca-Cola Co.
Ghana, a stable democracy that has become a gateway for many American firms (and charities) in West Africa, seemed a great place to look, especially since the country is on the cusp of an oil boom.
As part of our emerging markets series, we visited the cities of Accra and Kumasi, interviewing politicians, business leaders - even the chairman of the Ghana Stock Exchange - to get a sense for what's happening on the ground. As always, we were surprised to see how many connections we unearthed after we started digging.
We often interview diplomats when they come to Atlanta, but it's a rare treat to see them in their own element.
By establishing a personal connection with Jonathan Addleton, the former U.S. ambassador to Mongolia, we got the chance to profile him on the ground in Ulaanbaatar, the capital of the resource-rich country.
It was an unorthodox destination to be sure, but Mr. Addleton provide a conduit for us to take the pulse of an emerging market where breakneck growth in the mining sector is breeding a variety of problems, from environmental degradation to decline in traditional nomadic culture, not to mention a yawning wealth gap.
Report: Mongolia: Gold Mine or Money Pit?
Taiwanese officials understand when Georgia delegations bypass them for mainland China, but they often say that doing so is a missed opportunity.
With a trade agreement as well as direct air and shipping links with China, the small island is positioning itself as a gateway to that country and the much broader Asia region.
We took a quick trip to the island (admittedly, on the tail end of a China visit) to take a look at how Taiwanese family firms work together across borders and how an Atlantan connected with a 97-year-old Chinese fighter pilot across time and history, among other stories.
Report: Taiwan: Georgia's Asian Gateway?