Today, San Antonio announces that it is joining a pilot to create and implement plans to attract foreign direct investment as part of the Global Cities Initiative, a joint project of the Brookings Institution and JPMorgan Chase. This metro foreign direct investment pilot is the next phase of the Initiative’s Exchange, a network of metropolitan areas committed to establishing actionable plans that will promote greater global trade and economic competitiveness.
San Antonio will join Columbus, Ohio; Minneapolis-Saint Paul; Portland, Ore.; San Diego; and Seattle in Seattle today to participate in the first working session, where they will discuss the process for developing their foreign direct investment plan. Brookings selected these six metro areas after an extensive application process. San Antonio was selected for its readiness and commitment to strategically pursue foreign direct investment, such as greenfield expansions, mergers and acquisitions, and other types of foreign investment including equity joint ventures, and sovereign wealth funds.
“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.”
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.
For America to regain its standing, cities and metropolitan regions must capitalize on their comparative advantages to secure more of this growing, global source of investment. Metropolitan leaders, in partnership with their states, are best equipped to promote their areas’ unique appeal, establish strategic and mutually beneficial relationships, and attract foreign direct investment. San Antonio is well positioned to make foreign direct investment a central component of broader regional economic development strategies.
“We’re delighted that San Antonio 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 Morris Camp, president of JPMorgan Chase in San Antonio. “We have a history of helping businesses connect to global markets. The Global Cities Initiative work to promote foreign direct investment brings another level of depth to our region’s efforts to create jobs, attract capital and grow our economy.”
San Antonio will be represented in the pilot by a team of local leaders including James Henderson, City of San Antonio Economic Development Department; Reynaldo Cano, City of San Antonio Economic Development Department; David Marquez, Bexar County Economic Development Department; Tom Long, San Antonio Economic Development Foundation; and Douglas Carter, Texas A&M-San Antonio.
“San Antonio's vision is to be a central gateway city to Latin America and beyond," Mayor Julián Castro said. "As the only city in Texas to be a part of the Global Cities Initiative’s Exchange, San Antonio can leverage this tool to be even more competitive in the 21st century global economy."
As part of the pilot, San Antonio will develop a foreign direct investment market assessment and plan, along with an implementation plan and a policy memo. This work, added to the region’s existing export plan, forms the second core component of a global engagement strategy that will strengthen the region's global economic connections and competitiveness.
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 brookings.edu or jpmorganchase.com.