Louisville Ky part of regional plan to bring in foreign business

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BEAM Selected to Develop Regional Plan to Attract Foreign Direct Investment as Part of the Global Cities Initiative

Plan will strengthen region’s global economic connections and competitiveness

LOUISVILLE, KY (February 9, 2016) – Today, Mayor Greg Fischer announced that the Bluegrass Economic Advancement Movement (BEAM) has been selected to develop a regional plan to attract and leverage foreign direct investment, building off its existing BEAM Regional Economic Growth Plan,as part of the Global Cities Initiative, a joint project of the Brookings Institution and JPMorgan Chase.

The BEAM region, 22 counties that include and surround Louisville and Lexington, will join Charleston, Chicago, Indianapolis, Phoenix and Wichita in developing their foreign direct investment plan. These six metro areas were selected by Brookings after undergoing an extensive application process. BEAM was selected for its readiness and commitment to strategically pursue foreign direct investment through such activities as greenfield expansions, mergers and acquisitions, and other types of foreign investment, including EB-5, private equity, joint-ventures and sovereign wealth funds. BEAM is well positioned to make foreign direct investment a central component of broader regional economic development strategies.

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“Foreign investment is an important and growing part of the ecosystem that supports our regional economy,” said Fischer. “These investments have helped build robust and innovative activity, particularly in our manufacturing economy, because excellence seeks excellence. Domestic and foreign firms are drawn to what we offer here, and they help make it better.”

BEAM was launched by Fischer and Mayor Jim Gray of Lexington in 2011. This strategic partnership implements a regional economic development approach for the state’s two largest metropolitan areas. BEAM seeks to build on the region’s existing strengths of robust manufacturing and innovation. Working together, the Mayors believe they can foster increased growth in manufacturing, and strengthen the foundation of a prosperous future for companies, employees and entrepreneurs.

Kentucky has had four straight years of record-breaking export growth, with 2014 exports totaling $27.5 billion. According to the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development, 31% of Kentucky’s announced investment in 2015 came from foreign direct investment – dominated by the automotive industry, and 20% of Kentucky’s new jobs are a result of foreign direct investment.

Launched in 2012, the Global Cities Initiative is designed to help metropolitan leaders advance and grow their regional economies by strengthening international connections and competitiveness on key economic indicators such as advanced manufacturing, exports, foreign direct investment and traded sectors. GCI activities include producing data and research to guide decisions, fostering practice and policy innovations, and facilitating a peer-learning network. This opportunity is part of the next phase of the Global Cities Initiative’s Exchange, a network that assists metropolitan areas as they create strategies to support sustainable economic growth, first through addressing exports, and then foreign direct investment

“For this next cohort, we selected metro areas that have shown a commitment to attracting, expanding and leveraging foreign direct investment as part of a comprehensive global trade and engagement strategy,” said Marek Gootman, Brookings fellow and director of strategic partnerships and global initiatives. “The six metro areas selected will be strong role models for other regions and represent a growing group of leaders who understand the need to embrace the global market and solidify and strengthen international connections and competitiveness.”

Foreign direct investment has long supported regional economies, not only by infusing capital, but also by investing in workers, strengthening global networks, 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. Metropolitan leaders, in partnership with their states, are best equipped to attract and retain foreign direct investment by promoting their areas’ unique specializations and establishing strategic and mutually beneficial relationships.

“JPMorgan Chase is proud to be a part of the development of BEAM’s foreign direct investment plan and to support innovative planning that will contribute to our region’s future economic success,” said Paul Costel, Market Manager of Middle Market Banking, JPMorgan Chase. “International trade and investment represent a promising pathway for local businesses to grow and, in turn, create jobs and expand our local economy.”

The BEAM region will be represented by a team of local leaders including the offices of Fischer and Gray, World Trade Center Kentucky, Kentucky Cabinet of Economic Development, U.S. Commercial Service, Commerce Lexington and Greater Louisville Inc.

As part of this phase, the BEAM region 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 regional export plan, forms the second core component of a global engagement strategy that will strengthen the region’s global economic connections and competitiveness.

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