Columbus Region Chosen for Global Cities Initiative’s New Foreign Direct Investment Pilot

Columbus is one of six metro areas identified for commitment, readiness to explore new foreign direct investment strategies

April 10, 2014

Download this press release (PDF)

Columbus, OH – As part of the Global Cities Initiative, a joint project of Brookings and JPMorgan Chase, the Columbus Region has been selected to be one of six metropolitan areas that will develop a formal strategy to attract foreign direct investment via a new pilot program. This program will complement the Region’s existing international business development efforts. Officials from Columbus 2020 will join counterparts from the other six metropolitan areas in Seattle, Wash., today to participate in the first working session, where they will discuss the process for developing their respective foreign direct investment plans.

“For this pilot, we selected metro areas that are committed to attracting and leveraging foreign direct investment as part of a comprehensive global trade and investment strategy,” said Brad McDearman, Brookings fellow and director of metro trade and investment. “The six metro areas selected for this round will be strong role models for other regions and represent a growing group of leaders who understand the need to embrace the global market to remain competitive in the 21st century economy.”

The Columbus Region’s participation in the Global Cities Initiative’s Exchange, a project involving 21 metropolitan areas committed to increasing global trade and economic competitiveness, was announced in late 2013. Columbus joined the Global Cities Initiative’s Exchange along with 12 other metropolitan areas that were in the Brookings Metropolitan Export Initiative, focused on boosting export efforts.

The Global Cities Initiative’s new foreign direct investment pilot program will include creating a market assessment, a foreign direct investment plan, an implementation plan and a policy memo. This work complements the Columbus Region’s existing export plan to be released later this month, and forms the second core component of a global engagement strategy that will strengthen the Region’s global economic connections and competitiveness.

Foreign direct investment has long supported regional economies, not only by infusing capital, but also by investing in workers, strengthening global connections and sharing best business practices. As the world’s largest economy with a stable investment environment, the United States has been a top destination for foreign direct investment. Yet in the world’s increasingly competitive investment market, America’s global share of foreign direct investment has fallen.

“The Columbus Region continues to be recognized among the top metropolitan areas in the nation when it comes to its commitment to engage the global market, regarding both trade and foreign direct investment,” said Kenny McDonald, chief economic officer, Columbus 2020. “Participation in this new pilot program with the Global Cities Initiative and other ambitious metro areas will help to strengthen our regional growth strategy.”

“We’re delighted that Columbus will be a part of this new pilot – it’s exactly the kind of innovative planning that will ensure our community’s long-term economic success,” said James Malz, Ohio market manager, JPMorgan Chase & Co. “JPMorgan Chase has a history of helping businesses connect to global markets and the Global Cities Initiative’s foreign direct investment work brings another level of depth to our region’s efforts to further create jobs, attract capital and grow our economy.”


About the Global Cities Initiative
Launched in 2012, the Global Cities Initiative is a five-year joint project of Brookings and JPMorgan Chase aimed at helping city and metropolitan leaders become more globally fluent by providing an in- depth and data-driven look at their regional standing on crucial global economic measures, highlighting best policy and practice innovations from around the world, and creating an international network of leaders who ultimately trade and grow together. For more information please visit or

About Columbus 2020
Columbus 2020 is a public-private partnership that leverages the strengths of the Columbus Region’s talented workforce, small and large businesses, research and academic institutions, and international connections to ignite economic growth and build a healthier, more sustainable future for Central Ohio. The initiative grows our economy by ensuring that our existing companies are growing and thriving, that the world’s leading companies are attracted to the 11-county region, that innovations are cultivated and commercialized, and that our civic infrastructure is continually improving to meet the challenges of a rapidly evolving world economy. For more information, visit

Kenny McDonald
Columbus 2020

Grace Palmer
Brookings Institution

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