I’ve been waiting for the Brookings Institution’s Global Cities Initiative to come to Seattle. The program, established during the recession to help metro areas improve their competitiveness, came closest in Portland, where it sought to leverage PDX’s sustainability cluster to move beyond that region’s dependence on Intel.
Today, leaders are announcing a Global Cities pilot program for metropolitan Seattle, focused on foreign direct investment. Other cities in the program are Columbus, Ohio; Minneapolis-Saint Paul; Portland, Ore.; San Antonio, and San Diego.
Global Cities, whose main corporate sponsor is JPMorgan Chase, uses the scholarship firepower of the think tank to give metro areas the data and best practices to up their game with “actionable plans,” particularly in improving their reach to global markets. In other words, moving beyond the dependency on real estate seen in the 2000s. Foreign direct investment (FDI), which I’ve written in more detail about here, is a critical component.
Among those at today’s roll-out: Seattle Mayor Ed Murray, Mayor Marilyn Strickland of Tacoma and Mayor Ray Stephanson of Everett. Organizations involved include the Seattle Metropolitan Chamber, Trade Development Alliance of Greater Seattle, Economic Development Council of Seattle and King County, Puget Sound Regional Council and state Department of Commerce.
Metro Seattle is already a much more potent global player than most other places in America, but most of that power comes from within: Boeing, Microsoft, Amazon.com and the ports, whose products include Washington agriculture. The question is whether private- and public-sector leaders are willing to put their shoulders to the wheel and lure more international capital here.
I’ll write more about this on Sunday.
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Today’s Econ Haiku:
Putin wants a putsch
Slower growth confronts China
What’s the Dow to do?