New Metropolitan Phoenix Export Plan will help Region’s Global Economic Competitiveness

Greater Phoenix Economic Council May 28, 2015)

Greater Phoenix is releasing a regional export plan outlining specific steps local business, civic and government leaders will take to promote Greater Phoenix economic development. It assesses Greater Phoenix’s current export climate, sets market-based goals for increasing exports and lays out an implementation plan to support local businesses in increasing exports.

The plan is the culmination of a year-long process conducted under the region’s participation in the Global Cities Initiative, a five-year joint project of the Brookings Institution and JPMorgan Chase. Launched in 2012, the Global Cities Initiative helps business and civic leaders grow their metropolitan economies by strengthening international connections and competitiveness. GCI activities include producing data and research to guide decisions, fostering practice and policy innovations, and facilitating its Exchange, a peer learning network. As part of the Exchange, Greater Phoenix is working to create and implement new international trade and investment strategies.

“With this export plan, Greater Phoenix is acting on what our research shows is untapped potential to grow the region’s economy and support higher-quality jobs,” said Marek Gootman, Brookings director of strategic partnerships and global initiatives. “Greater Phoenix now is among a small group of U.S. and international metro areas with a comprehensive, tailored strategy to help firms pursue global market opportunities. This type of intense focus and collaboration among business, government, and civic leaders is proving to yield tangible results.”

Exports are an under-used economic development tool and only five percent of Unites States firms currently export. This export strategy will help Greater Phoenix businesses capitalize on the growing consumer class outside the U.S. to strengthen the local economy and grow jobs at home.

“The Greater Phoenix metropolitan region has a well-established aerospace, semiconductor and electronics industry base that makes up more than 15 percent of the share of total exports, but we need to work on integrating export strategies with the growing number of startups and small and medium-size companies in the region,” said Chris Camacho, president and CEO of the Greater Phoenix Economic Council. “The new Greater Phoenix Export Plan will provide the framework to build on these opportunities, which will further enhance our market’s global competitiveness.”

Greater Phoenix has a dynamic entrepreneurial culture and ecosystem that generates these new startups. These growing companies, along with the large number of small and medium-size companies in the Greater Phoenix region, will benefit from learning the fundamentals necessary to export their products and services.

Key findings from the plan reveal that service sector exports are leading the export growth in Greater Phoenix; the region has the potential to evolve existing industries into new technology-intensive spaces; and the aerospace industry is a significant part of the Greater Phoenix economy and its exports.

“JPMorgan Chase is proud to be a part of Greater Phoenix’s export plan development and we encourage other local businesses to join this effort to further create jobs, attract capital and grow our economy through trade,” said Noreen Bishop, regional manager for Business Banking at JPMorgan Chase.

Nearly 25 executives, economic development professionals and U.S. agency officials have joined Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton in the development of the Greater Phoenix Export Plan, and will continue to be part of the implementation. Businesses of all sizes in the region are encouraged to contact the Metro Phoenix Export Alliance, the new organization that will oversee the plan, to learn more about growing their companies globally.

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