Columbus Region Selected to Develop New Market Prioritization and Metropolitan Economic Partnership Strategies as Part of the Global Cities Initiative

Participation seeks to deepen the impact of metropolitan trade strategies that will help Columbus determine how to best to strengthen global economic engagement with international counterparts

June 20, 2017

Download this press release (PDF)

Columbus, OH – Today, Columbus 2020 announced that the Columbus Region has been selected to join a group of eight city-regions seeking to amplify the impact of metropolitan trade strategies through new research and problem-solving that will 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 Columbus’ participation in the Global Cities Exchange.

“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, Columbus will join Atlanta, Louisville/Lexington, Philadelphia, Phoenix, San Antonio, 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.

“Working with Brookings and JPMorgan Chase through the Global Cities Initiative has reinforced our deep commitment to putting the Columbus Region on the global stage,” said Kenny McDonald, president and CEO, Columbus 2020. “By helping our companies find new markets while also attracting foreign-owned companies to the area, we grow the economy and become a more diverse and dynamic community.”

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 Global Cities Initiative (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.

“Our local clients continue to look toward global growth for their businesses. We’re delighted the Columbus Region has earned this critical support to further develop international growth strategies,” said Corrine Burger, Chief Control Officer at Chase and a member of the Columbus 2020 Board of Directors. “As our metro area has grown our focus on international economic connections has grown with it. The global economic opportunities are great for our local businesses and all residents.”

As part of its past participation in the Global Cities Initiative’s Exchange, Columbus 2020 worked on behalf of the Columbus Region with other metropolitan areas to develop customized global engagement strategies. Recognizing the importance of FDI to regional economies, Columbus 2020 released the Columbus Global Connect plan in 2015, which identified objectives focused on increasing FDI and exports in the Columbus Region, including the goals to become one of the top 25 metropolitan areas in export value by 2020 and to increase the FDI pipeline to a 50 percent share of active projects.

To learn more about the Global Cities Initiative, visit or


About Columbus 2020
As the economic development organization for the Columbus Region, Columbus 2020’s mission is to generate opportunity and build capacity for economic growth across 11 Central Ohio counties. In 2010, hundreds of business and community leaders developed the Columbus 2020 Regional Growth Strategy, and the Columbus Region is now experiencing the strongest decade of growth in its history. The Columbus 2020 team conducts business outreach, promotes the Columbus Region to market-leading companies around the world, conducts customized research to better understand the Columbus Region’s competitiveness, and works to leverage public, private and institutional partnerships. Funding is received from more than 300 private organizations, local governments, academic institutions and JobsOhio. Learn more at

About The Brookings Institution
The Brookings Institution is a non-profit organization. Its mission is to conduct high-quality, independent research and, based on that research, to provide innovative, practical recommendations for policymakers and the public. Brookings recognizes the value it provides in its absolute commitment to quality, independence and impact, and makes all final determinations of the scholarly activities in the Global Cities Initiative, including the research agenda and products.

About The Global Cities Initiative
The Global Cities Initiative is a joint project of the Brookings Institution and JPMorgan Chase designed to help metropolitan leaders advance and grow their regional economies by strengthening international connections and competitiveness. GCI activities include producing data and research to guide decisions, fostering practice and policy innovations and facilitating a peer-learning network. For more information, visit or

Columbus 2020 Media Contact
Irene Alvarez

Brookings Media Contact

Anthony Fiano


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