Drivers of Growth

June 15, 2015

Argue for your limitations, and sure enough they’re yours.
-Richard Bach

Last week’s votes in Washington, D.C. regarding trade promotion authority and the Trans-Pacific Partnership led to complicated analysis, with some calling it a defeat for President Obama, and the White House saying it was a step toward success. Either way, it brings up important questions about how we will seek growth and engage in a world economy being remade.

The Columbus Region’s work with the Brookings Institution over the past three years has given us a great perspective on how competitive Central Ohio is for attracting investment from abroad, and also on how competitive our companies are in entering markets around the world. The world’s middle class is largely in foreign markets, and it is critical that we assist more directly than ever before to compete for business around the world. To do so, we must do things differently, and adjust our programming to ensure that our companies are as prepared as their foreign competitors.

Two articles on the subject are informative and reinforce what we have learned by working through a process to develop our trade and investment strategy in the Columbus Region. The first is a blog post by EY’s Global Chairman Mark Weinberger, which offers an interesting look at some of our nation’s biggest issues. The second article is by former U.S. Treasury Secretary, Larry Summers. Both offer strong opinions that you may or may not agree with, but it is hard to argue that paralysis is a sustainable position. Decisions must be made in order to signal progress and to build confidence in markets around the world.

Finally, it is easy to point to Washington, D.C. at times like this, but it is equally important to ask the hard questions about our own strategies at a local and state level. What lessons can we apply to our own communities? What issues are we pushing off to the next generation? Are we paralyzed around issues in our own community that are limiting growth and success?

Kenny McDonald

One Columbus Update

  • Congratulations to Columbus, named the 2015 Intelligent Community of the Year! Columbus was selected by the Intelligent Community Forum (ICF) after a year-long evaluation that included a quantitative analysis of extensive data, site inspections by ICF, and votes from an international jury of experts. We are proud to see Columbus recognized as the top community in the world when evaluated against ICF’s Intelligent Community Indicators, which include broadband connectivity, knowledge workforce, innovation, digital inclusion, marketing and advocacy. ICF praised Columbus for the presence of organizations like Rev1 Ventures, the cultural revitalization of the East Franklinton neighborhood, initiatives to make higher education more accessible for low income residents, and for its regional approach to economic development.
  • This week, the One Columbus team will host companies considering the Columbus Region. We’ll also travel to Texas to meet with companies and consultants.
  • The Columbus Region May 2015 Economic Update has been released. The reports shows more than 150 active projects in the pipeline, led by the manufacturing and business services sectors.