Wichita selected for initiative aimed at improving international trade

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – The Wichita region has been selected for a multi-region initiative aimed at improved performance in international trade.

Eight city-regions were selected as part of the Global Cities Initiative (GCI), a joint project of the Brookings Institution and JPMorgan Chase. The intent of the initiative is to amplify the impact of metropolitan trade strategies through new research and problem-solving. It will also help determine which markets should be prioritized and how city-regions can execute international economic partnerships with international metro counterparts.

“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.”

The eight city-regions were selected by Brookings through a competitive application process. In addition to Wichita, they include Atlanta, Columbus, Louisville/Lexington, Philadelphia, Phoenix, San Antonio, and San Diego. The participants will produce a locally-tailored market prioritization assessment, and each will initiate or expand at least one metro-to-metro collaboration. They also will create a detailed work plan for building out those relationships and establishing an approach that can be replicated by other metropolitan areas.

“This initiative is a great opportunity for the Wichita region to flex its competitive muscles in the international marketplace,” said Karyn Page, president and CEO of Kansas Global Trade Services. “Credit for our selection goes to a long roster of regional partners who recognize the importance of international trade as a cornerstone of our future.”

In the first phase, GCI metros will 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.

Next, the region will engage in metro-to-metro economic collaboration, looking for the best model for international trade partnerships.

Since its launch, the Global Cities Initiative (GCI) has raised national awareness of the importance of international economic connections and competitiveness for growth and job creation. It also has 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.

“We’re delighted Wichita is getting this support critical to further develop international growth strategies,” said David Page, managing director, 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 the region.”

Wichita will be represented by community and corporate leaders with economic development, economics, business, community, and marketing and promotion expertise. Kansas Global designed a three-tier team with a customer first approach to maximize community input and innovative development. Members of the Core Team include professionals from Kansas Global (project manager), Wichita State University’s Barton School of Business, the Regional Economic Area Partnership and Wichita Eisenhower National Airport; additional members are being confirmed.