Ireland opened its first ever Irish consulate in the American South this week in Atlanta, Georgia.

On Wednesday Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed welcomed Ambassador of Ireland Michael Collins as he formally opened the new Consulate General in the celebrated southern city.

Irish officials at the new Irish Consulate plan to raise Ireland's economic profile in the region with the intention of increasing business ties between Ireland and Georgia, Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Alabama and Mississippi.

Ambassador Collins told attendees at the opening ceremony that Atlanta was an ideal location for Ireland to set up a new Consulate. He said the city is a thriving and dynamic business hub for the Southeastern region of the U.S.