Export Initiative Partners Join Leaders from Around the World at Global Cities Summit in Washington, D.C.

Oct 03, 2016
Representatives of the OH-PA Stateline Export Initiative attended the Brookings Institution’s Global Cities Summit in Washington, D.C., Sept. 28 and 29 to engage in peer-to-peer learning through panel discussions, workshop sessions, networking opportunities and a public forum.
Representatives of the OH-PA Stateline Export Initiative attended the Brookings Institution’s Global Cities Summit in Washington, D.C., Sept. 28 and 29 to engage in peer-to-peer learning through panel discussions, workshop sessions, networking opportunities and a public forum. 
Moussa Kassis, director of the Ohio SBDC Export Assistance Network at Youngstown State University; Dorte Heffernan, international trade manager for the Northwest Commission in Pennsylvania; and Michelle Phillips, research analyst at the Regional Chamber, were invited by Brookings to join leaders from metro cities worldwide at the summit, which reinforced the importance of global competitiveness and engagement, highlighted major urban innovations underway and catalyzed a next wave of bottom-up initiatives that respond to the ongoing dynamics and challenges in the global economy.
“Meeting with representatives from countries around the world gave the OH-PA Stateline Export Initiative great exposure and created huge opportunities for the companies in the 10-county area,” said Kassis. “In addition, being involved with other Global Cities in implementation exercises was a thrilling experience that will sharpen our vision on how to move forward with a comprehensive, sustainable and inclusive international trade and economic growth model.”  
 
Heffernan concurred, “Being part of the Global Cities Summit confirmed that we are on the right track with our cross-border regional initiative. Our export plan looks at export trade and foreign direct investment growth from a practical standpoint while considering common traded clusters, already-existing workforce initiatives, top-notch universities to foster R&D, internships and private sector collaboration, and at the same time, not feeling restricted by geographical borders.”
This year’s Summit also marked the five-year milestone of the Global Cities Initiative, a $15 million, joint project of the Brookings Institution and JPMorgan Chase that is helping U.S. and international metro areas strengthen their global economic connections and competitiveness. Although the OH-PA Stateline Export Initiative was not chosen to be part of the Global Cities Initiative, the Brookings Institution—ranked the most influential and trusted think tank in the country—praised the program nonetheless. 
In fact, Marek Gootman, director of Strategic Partnerships and Global Initiatives at the Brookings Metropolitan Policy Program, visited the Valley last fall and met with Export Initiative partners. At that time, he said the initiative showed a strong commitment to expanding global economic reach through the identification of regionally competitive strengths and an increase in exports and would ensure long-term economic success for businesses located in the 10-county area that are interested in expanding to global markets.
Since then, the initiative has received several accolades, including an award for Regionalism & Cross-Border Collaboration presented to the group last week by the International Economic Development Council.
Through the export initiative, local partners in the 10-county area have been encouraging manufacturers and business service providers to take a survey about their exporting experiences, including the number of countries and types of products and services that are exported, company capabilities, etc. Compiled aggregated data will be used to generate potential trade opportunities and match companies to potential customers.
Phillips concluded that, “It was an honor to participate in Brookings’ Global Cities Initiative Summit.  Meeting our counterparts from cities around to world to share in best practices, discover new resources and build city-to-city relationships was an experience that will definitely benefit our area businesses and enhance supply chain opportunities.”
**Just a reminder that manufacturers that would like to fill out the export survey should visit ohpaexports.com.**