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JU to play key role in effort with Global Cities Initiative to boost region’s trade, competitiveness

Jacksonville University has teamed up with other major local and national players in an effort to expand the region’s global trade and economic footprint. 

GlobalCitiesInitiative.jpgThe Global Cities Initiative is a five-year, $10 million effort of JPMorgan and Brookings to help eight selected U.S. regions promote greater exports and competitiveness.
 
JU joins Jacksonville’s Office of Economic Development, JAXUSA Partnership, JaxPort and the University of North Florida in the new push, in which cities were selected after a competitive bid process.
 
“I am proud of Jacksonville University's participation in the grant application process, as it was an intensive, collaborative effort with the city,” said JU President Tim Cost. “Our JU Davis College of Business scholars are fully committed to assist with the research and analysis phase of this enterprise, and look forward to working with the Brookings Institution and regional partners to develop a coherent export strategy."
 
Rody Borg, JU economics professor, told The Florida Times-Union for a story Nov. 22 that Brookings has “unbelievable intellectual capital” to aid the local effort toward a regional export plan — a central part of the Global Cities Initiative project.
 
A full news release from the City of Jacksonville follows:
 
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Jacksonville selected to join Global Cities Initiative’s new exchange network
 
Jacksonville is one of eight inaugural Exchange metro areas that will design and implement a regional export plan in 2014. The network will expand over time to include additional U.S. and international cities working together to strengthen their local economies through increased engagement with the rest of the world. This builds on the Global Cities Initiative’s work, which equips metropolitan leaders with the information, policy ideas, and global connections they need to bolster their regions’ positions in the global economy.
 
“For the Exchange, we selected metro areas that are committed to expanding their global economic reach by working together to identify regional competitive strengths and increase exports,” said Brad McDearman, Brookings fellow. “The eight metro areas selected for this round represent a growing group of U.S. metro areas that understand the need to embrace the global market to remain competitive in the 21st century economy.”
 
Rapid urbanization in mature and developing markets is creating a new consumer class and 85 percent of global GDP growth is projected to occur outside the U.S. between 2013 and 2018. This is a great opportunity for U.S. firms and local economies to achieve economic growth to capitalize on their distinctive assets and expand their global trade and investment strategies.
 
“I commend our city partners for accomplishing this impressive initiative. I thank Brookings and JPMorgan Chase for selecting us from among many U.S. cities,” said Mayor Alvin Brown. “My goal is to make Northeast Florida the global export gateway of the South. As chairman of the U.S. Conference of Mayors Task force on Ports and Exports, I see the significant role that trade plays in making the Jacksonville region and America’s ports so crucial to our cities’ futures.” 
 
“We’re delighted that Jacksonville will be a part of this new network – it’s exactly the kind of innovative planning that is needed to ensure our community’s long-term economic success,” said Michael Butler, market president for JPMorgan Chase in Jacksonville. “We have a long history of connecting business to global markets that we are now ready to bring to our city and the Exchange brings additional resources to help our region’s leaders design strategies to further create jobs and grow our economy through greater global engagement.”
 
Metro area leaders play a critical role in promoting trade and developing infrastructure. Jacksonville is uniquely positioned to make exports and global engagement a central, consistent part of broader regional economic strategies. Regional economic development leaders representing both the public and private sectors can help local firms access new markets and align existing export services because they know their regions best. These leaders are also best equipped to coordinate regional assets—such as skills training, innovation capacities, and freight and logistics—to better support global trade.
 
“North Florida’s participation in the Global Cities Initiative’s Exchange is in complete alignment with the port’s strategies in the near- and long-term, all of which maximize the economic benefits of the port by growing our global competitiveness as a region,” said JAXPORT CEO Brian Taylor. “This opportunity to collaborate with other metro areas while creating and implementing a plan for increasing exports will help us deliver on our goals as a principal hub of global logistics, trade and transportation.”
 
Jacksonville will join Atlanta; Greenville, S.C.; Indianapolis; Milwaukee; Phoenix; Sacramento, Calif.; and Wichita, Kan., in the Exchange’s inaugural class, which will work together over the next four years to establish new metro-to-metro relationships and to share best practices in global economic development.
 
Jacksonville will be represented in the Exchange by a team of local leaders from the Office of Economic Development, the JAXUSA Partnership, JAXPORT, Jacksonville University and the University of North Florida.
 
“I am proud of Jacksonville University's participation in the grant application process, as it was an intensive, collaborative effort with the city,” said Tim Cost, president of Jacksonville University. “Our JU Davis College of Business scholars are fully committed to assist with the research and analysis phase of this enterprise, and look forward to working with the Brookings Institution and regional partners to develop a coherent export strategy."
 
As part of the Exchange, Jacksonville will first develop a regional export plan, and later integrate a foreign direct investment strategy. Together these plans, which may also grow to include logistics and advanced industries, will comprise a customized global engagement strategy to strengthen the region's global economic connections and competitiveness.
 
The leaders of Jacksonville’s Exchange team will join those of the other accepted metropolitan areas at Brookings in Washington, D.C., in December to participate in their first working group session, where they will learn how to develop an export plan as part of a global economic development strategy. Throughout the four-year Exchange, participating metros will periodically convene for in-person working groups and will continually engage in curriculum via conference calls and webinars.
 
The inaugural cohort of eight metropolitan areas will join 12 that are already involved in Brookings-led metropolitan export planning. Charleston, S.C.; Chicago; Columbus, Ohio; Des Moines, Iowa; Los Angeles; Louisville-Lexington, Ky.; Minneapolis-Saint Paul; Portland, Ore.; San Antonio; San Diego; Syracuse, N.Y.; and Tampa Bay, Fla., are all existing members of the Brookings Metropolitan Export Initiative and have been invited to continue their work as part of the Global Cities Exchange.
 
In addition to these 20 metro areas, the Global Cities Initiative will support strategic economic engagements in select international markets. Last week in México City, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and México City Mayor Miguel Ángel Mancera announced the first international engagement of the Exchange by signing an agreement to formalize and strengthen their cities’ economic partnership. The two cities will work together to expand exports, foreign investment, skilled workforce and research endeavors.
 
Launched in 2012, the Global Cities Initiative is a five-year joint project of Brookings and JPMorgan Chase aimed at helping city and metropolitan leaders become more globally fluent by providing an in-depth and data-driven look at their regional standing on crucial global economic measures, highlighting best policy and practice innovations from around the world, and creating an international network of leaders who ultimately trade and grow together. For more information please visithttp://www.brookings.edu/projects/global-cities.aspx or www.jpmorganchase.com/globalcities

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