In late 2014, the World Trade Center – Kansas City, applied for and won admittance into the Global Cities Initiative on behalf of the Kansas City region. The Global Cities Initiative is a five-year joint project of the Brookings Institution and JP Morgan Chase that aims to help leaders in U.S. metropolitan areas reorient their communities toward greater engagement in world markets through writing of strategic export plans tailored to increase exports in local economies.
Why do exports matter?
95 percent of the world’s consumers live outside of the United States and with 85 percent of world economic growth occurring outside of the United States from 2013 and projected into 2018, exporting provides a large opportunity for business to grow, become more competitive, diversify their portfolios and weather changes in the U.S. domestic economy.
Where did we start?
After receiving the GCI designation, the first step was to collect all of the necessary data in the Kansas City region ranging from information on the macroeconomic climate, what is being exported out of the region, who is exporting those goods, and why more companies are not exporting. This information was collected from a variety of sources: Brookings Institution Export Nation 2015, EMSI, Census Bureau, and original research from the GCI project team (2 online surveys, 1 focus group, and face-to-face interviews).
Why does Kansas City need an export plan?
Kansas City’s traded sectors and clusters are thin- characterized by a relatively sparse number of large firms. Several key traded sectors in Kansas City are also becoming less competitive, losing market share in jobs and output compared to peer cities. Economic growth is needed on all fronts and industry strengths need to be wisely leveraged to spur trade intensity.
Data Driven Export Plan: Kansas City Exports by the Numbers
Images courtesy of Brookings Institute