[SACRAMENTO]– The Northern California World Trade Center today released a first-of-its-kind roadmap to dramatically increase the Capital Region’s global exports. The California Capital Region Export Plan outlines specific steps local business, civic and government leaders will take to promote regional economic development. It assesses the Capital Region’s current export climate, sets market-based goals for increasing exports and lays out an implementation plan to support local businesses in increasing exports.
“As a metro area, we have world class healthcare systems, education and research institutions and nearly two million acres of cultivated farmland,” said Northern California World Trade Center President and CEO, Renée Taylor. “The abundance of resources in the Capital Region is unquestionable, and this plan leverages those resources to make us more globally competitive and sustain our overall economic health.
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 (GCI) 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, the Capital Region is developing a metropolitan global trade and investment plan.
“After the Great Recession, smart economic development leaders are reorienting their efforts from a one-dimensional focus on domestic business attraction toward a broader array of strategic growth initiatives that include global opportunities,” said Marek Gootman, Brookings Metropolitan Policy Program director of strategic partnerships and global initiatives. “With this export plan, the Capital Region is developing an economic strategy focused on long-term growth and competitiveness for the region and its firms.”
Exports are an under-used economic development tool, with just five percent of U.S. firms currently exporting. The California Capital Region Export Plan’s strategies will help regional businesses capitalize on the growing consumer class outside the United States to strengthen its local economy and grow jobs at home.
The strategies outlined in the Export Plan are derived from a thorough market assessment of regional businesses that exposed current challenges they face in exporting. Among them are a reluctance to start exporting due to lack of financing, regulatory challenges, and insufficient knowledge of international markets. For companies that are already exporting, 98 percent of them reported that they aimed to expand into a new foreign market in the next two years.
“The market assessment indicates that one of the things we need to do is make businesses aware of the existing trade resources at the local, state and federal level that are designed to get them into the export pipeline,” said Taylor. “But it also speaks to the value of exporting as an important part of a company’s expansion goals. Therefore, getting companies past the perceived export challenges is an important strategy underscored throughout the entire plan.”
“JPMorgan Chase is proud to be a part of the Capital Region’s export plan development. International trade represents a promising path for our locally based businesses to create jobs, attract capital and grow our economy,” said Erik Langeland, JPMorgan Chase Commercial Bank in Sacramento and the Central Valley.
The Export Plan is comprised of strategies and tactics that will help achieve the stated goal of accelerating job creation by increasing international trade and export activity in alignment with the Next Economy Prosperity Plan, a framework to jumpstart and sustain the Region’s economy. It was developed by the Northern California World Trade Center, with more than 30 local leaders and a Core Committee comprised of the California Asian Chamber of Commerce, Center for Strategic Economic Research, Sacramento Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce, Sacramento Municipal Utility District, and Sacramento County.
Implementation has already begun and will continue over the next five years. Taylor stressed that this is a regional effort, the success of which depends upon the continued support of the existing plan’s leadership as well as participation of the Region’s businesses. “In order to grow the Region’s economy, businesses that export or are ready to export should connect with the Export Plan leadership. The more companies we help enter the export pipeline and expand into new markets, the stronger our economy becomes.”
For more information on the Global Cities Initiative please visit www.brookings.edu/projects/global-cities.aspx or www.jpmorganchase.com/globalcities.
For more informaiton on the Export Plan visithttp://norcalwtc.org/exportplan/