Kansas City Releases GCI Export Market Assessment

Oct 26, 2015


KANSAS CITY, MO, USA – Kansas City has released an export market assessment, a critical step in its development of a regional export strategy that will outline specific steps local business, civic, and government leaders can take to increase their exports and grow global engagement. This strategy is the centerpiece of the Global Cities Initiative, a joint project of the Brookings Institution and JPMorgan Chase.

“Smart economic development leaders are reorienting their efforts from a one-dimensional focus on domestic business attraction toward a broader array of strategic growth initiatives that includes regional collaboration to strengthen international connections and competitiveness,” said Marek Gootman, Brookings Metropolitan Policy Program director of strategic partnerships and global initiatives. “The market assessment enables Kansas City to understand its position in the export game so it can develop a global trade strategy that will adapt to rapidly changing dynamics and contribute to regional business growth and job creation.”

With an estimated 95 percent of consumers living beyond U.S. borders, exports are a critical component of a regional economic development strategy. Yet exports are an under-utilized economic development tool — only five percent of U.S. firms currently export. This export strategy will help Kansas City businesses increase their
exports and capitalize on the growing global consumer market.

Led by the World Trade Center Kansas City, participation in the Global Cities Initiative is an essential international element of KC Rising. 

“The completed export plan will be an important component of the KC Rising strategies for growing the region’s economy. We appreciate the leadership of the Global Cities Initiative Steering Committee and the opportunity to work collaboratively to ensure a positive economic future for the region,” says Scott Smith, Co-Chair, KC Rising, and former President and CEO of HNTB Infrastructure.

The Global Cities Initiative committee surveyed area businesses to evaluate the region’s current export economy and its potential for growth. Key findings from Kansas City’s market assessment include:

  • Exports are growing nationally, which presents local opportunity
  • Small & mid-size enterprises are ripe for export expansion
  • Few area businesses actively engage in export activity
  • Exports have not been a priority for area businesses
  • Area businesses are unaware of the numerous export resources available
  • Robust transportation & logistics assets are a regional strength and competitive advantage
  • Local economic development agencies have great potential for partnership

“The market assessment is the necessary first step in our ultimate goal of growing Kansas City exports,” explains Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Jim Heeter. “The report shows both the challenges and opportunities we have as a business community and will serve as a solid foundation for what will be a thoughtful – and actionable – strategic plan. Our ultimate goal: to increase the number of products and services we send beyond our borders and ultimately expand the Kansas City economy.”

“International trade and investment represent a promising pathway for local businesses to create jobs, attract capital and grow our economy,” adds Ward Nixon, a JP Morgan Chase executive director based in Kansas City.

“As we worked our way through the market assessment process, we were pleased to see that export service providers in the region were highly regarded by the companies that use them. Black & Veatch uses the services of many of these providers and we give the ones we use an A-plus rating,” states Paul Weida, Black & Veatch vice president of government affairs and co-chair Global Cities Initiative committee. 

“The U.S. Commercial Service Kansas City Export Assistance Center and World Trade Center Kansas City are examples of such service providers, yet most companies in the area are unaware of these organizations, giving us a great opportunity to create connections with prospective exporters and export service providers.”

“My hope is that the export plan generated from Kansas City’s participation in the Global Cities Intiative will encourage small and mid-sized businesses, many of which have limited resources, to proactively pursue an export strategy to grow their business,” said Anthony Hancox, Garmin director of finance and analysis and Global Cities Initiative committee member. In the coming months, the Kansas City team participating in the Global Cities Initiative team will be working to develop strategies and recommendations to address these findings. 

If you would like to be involved or learn more about this process, please contact Ivry Karamitros at the World Trade Center Kansas City.

The Global Cities Initiative is a joint project of the Brookings Institution and JPMorgan Chase to help business and civic leaders grow their metropolitan 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, see http://www.brookings.edu/projects/global-cities.aspx or www.jpmorganchase.com/globalcities.

World Trade Center Kansas City serves domestic and international companies within the Kansas City region as well as international companies that want to do business in Kansas City through a variety of services from internships and education to networking events and seminars. World Trade Center Kansas City is a partnership between the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce, KC SmartPort and Kansas City Area Development Council — three organizations well versed in the critical importance of improving our region’s competitiveness in the global economy. 

For more information, please visit www.kcchamber.com/World-Trade-Center/Home.aspx.

KC Rising is a regional, collaborative, business community-led effort to develop a path for the KC region to reach its full economic potential. KC Rising will develop strategies for accelerating the region’s economic growth and ensure its continued competitiveness in the global economy. KC Rising is supported by the leadership and staff of the Civic Council of Greater Kansas City, Mid-America Regional Council, the Kansas City Area Development Council and regional chambers of commerce. www.kcrising.com.

To learn more about WTC Kansas City, click on the source link below: