Greater Philadelphia has been selected to join a group of eight city-regions seeking to amplify the impact of trade strategies through new research and problem-solving that will determine how city-regions can best prioritize and execute economic partnerships with international metro counterparts. In April 2016, WTCGP and Economy League of Greater Philadelphia participated in the Global Cities Initiative (GCI), a joint project of Brookings and JPMorgan Chase. In April 2016, the Greater Philadelphia Export Plan was released.
“Even with strong trade and investment strategies, all metros face resource and capacity constraints to engaging internationally. In the global market haystack, metros need tools to focus on where they are most likely to find the needles,” said Marek Gootman, Brookings fellow and director of strategic partnerships and global initiatives. “We selected this diverse group of metros to test new approaches to identify, prioritize, and structure economic connections with specific foreign counterparts for maximum returns.”
Selected by Brookings through a competitive application process, Greater Philadelphia will join Atlanta, Columbus, Louisville/Lexington, Phoenix, San Antonio, San Diego, and Wichita in producing a locally-tailored market prioritization assessment, and initiating or expanding at least one metro-to-metro collaboration. These activities will yield an approach that can be replicated by other metropolitan areas.
“It is an honor for Philadelphia to be selected for this new phase of the Global Cities Initiative,” said Mayor Jim Kenney. “The economy becomes increasingly global with each day that passes, and in order to remain competitive, our city and region must identify ways in which we can more strategically focus our efforts internationally. Philadelphia’s participation in the Global Cities Initiative will allow the region to examine our existing economic strengths and opportunities for growth, while simultaneously identifying key markets around the globe where we can create or expand partnerships.”
The GCI metros will test a new evidence-based methodology to prioritize international markets for high-potential economic relationships. Through an assessment, each metro area will identify existing and potential market connections, sector synergies, and growth trends. Additionally, the cohort will examine different models to operationalize international metro–level economic partnerships targeted through prioritization, exploring bilateral and multi-lateral sector, geographic, and intermediary relationships.
“The World Trade Center of Greater Philadelphia is pleased to join Greater Philadelphia's regional leaders in this important GCI learning cohort that will take our metro export plan to the next level, identifying best markets and global partners, and tapping into the extensive network of world trade centers worldwide,” added Linda Conlin, President, World Trade Center of Greater Philadelphia.
Since its launch, the Global Cities Initiative (GCI) has raised awareness about the importance of international economic connections and competitiveness for growth and job creation, and spurred dozens of metropolitan areas to reorient their economic strategies toward engaging world markets. GCI has become a hub for coalitions of metro leaders across public, private, and civic sectors to connect with their counterparts for peer learning, problem-solving, and economic collaboration.
“Greater Philadelphia is a truly global region, and we’re delighted it’s getting this critical support to further develop international growth strategies,” said Mark Schrieber, Managing Director and Region Manager, JPMorgan Chase. “We must look beyond our metro area for growth opportunities; this effort will create international economic connections for local businesses and greater economic opportunity for all residents.”
The regional project team includes the City of Philadelphia, Select Greater Philadelphia Council, World Trade Center of Greater Philadelphia, and Temple University’s Fox School of Business.
Participation in the Global Cities Initiative will allow Greater Philadelphia to build on other ongoing efforts with an international focus. In 2016, the region worked with the Brookings Institution to release its three-year metro export plan, which identified several goals to create a more dynamic export economy. Just last month, City officials convened a group of local business and economic development leaders to begin building out a plan for more effective, cohesive marketing of the region for business and talent attraction.