San Antonio announced it has been selected to join a group of eight city-regions seeking to develop and amplify the impact of trade strategies through research and strategic development problem-solving.
This initiative will also determine how city-regions can best prioritize and execute international economic partnerships with international metro counterparts.
This new effort, part of the Global Cities Initiative (GCI), a joint project of Brookings and JPMorgan Chase, builds upon the foundation of San Antonio’s participation in the Global Cities Exchange, for which the city was originally selected in 2012 to develop an export plan, and in 2014 was one of only six pilot communities selected to take the next step and develop a foreign direct investment strategy.
“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, San Antonio will join Atlanta, Columbus, Louisville/Lexington, Philadelphia, Phoenix, San Diego, and Wichita in producing a locally-tailored market prioritization assessment and initiating or expanding at least one metro-to-metro collaboration, coupled with a detailed work plan for building out those relationships and establish an approach that can be replicated by other metropolitan areas.
“Data and professional collaboration with peer cities has been a focus of ours since joining the Global Cities Initiative,” said Rene Dominguez, Director of the City of San Antonio’s Economic Development Department. “We are confident that through our participation in this cohort San Antonio will further strengthen and solidify our City’s global trade and investment efforts.”
“We’ve been successful implementing San Antonio’s Trade and Investment Strategy, developed in Brookings’ Global Cities Exchange,” said SAEDF president & CEO Jenna Saucedo-Herrera. “To reinforce international relations as a top priority and elevate San Antonio’s global competitiveness, we’re proud to partner once again with Brookings to continue evolving our strategy.”
In the first phase, GCI metros will apply 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 (global market prioritization).
Following this phase, the cohort will examine different models to operationalize international metro–level economic partnerships targeted through prioritization, based on testing bilateral and multi-lateral sectoral, geographic, and intermediary relationships (metro-to-metro economic collaboration).
Since its launch, the 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.
“San Antonio is becoming a more global city, and this partnership of the public and private sectors will develop growth strategies that can have a powerful impact on our region,” said Morris Camp, Market Leader for JPMorgan Chase in San Antonio. “This effort will create international economic connections for local businesses, and that will create greater economic opportunity for our residents.”
San Antonio’s co-chair organizations for this initiative will be the City’s Economic Development Department and the San Antonio Economic Development Foundation with research support from the SABÉR Research Institute.
However, many of San Antonio’s economic development community partners, including the City’s Office of Innovation, the Free Trade Alliance of San Antonio, la Asociación de Empresarios Mexicanos (the Mexican Entrepreneur Association), Brooks City Base, Port San Antonio, the San Antonio Chamber of Commerce, the San Antonio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, the University of Texas at San Antonio’s Institute for Economic Development and the U.S. Commercial Service will serve as an advisory board for the San Antonio effort.
San Antonio supports and promotes key initiatives that raise the profile of international business engagement and the importance it plays in competitiveness and economic vitality. An effective economic development marketing strategy is guided by solid data and the analysis of this data provides focus, direction and insight to create the strategies and tactics needed to reach the desired objectives.
Through the GCI, San Antonio had the opportunity to create the San Antonio Trade & Investment Strategy (SATIS) 2015, which has guided the City’s current global trade and investment strategy. This high-level strategy developed is expected to be built upon through this initiative to provide more specific and results-oriented strategies that will lead to increased job and investment in our community.