St. Louis has received some great news from the Brookings Institution! It’s been chosen as one of eight cities to participate in the prestigious Global Cities Initiative Exchange.
Launched in 2012, the Global Cities Initiative is a five-year joint project of the Brookings Institution and JPMorgan Chase that helps business and civic leaders grow their metropolitan economies by strengthening international connections and competitiveness.
Over the next two years, St. Louis leaders will research, develop and implement integrated global trade and foreign-direct investment strategies that will boost global commerce in the region and position St. Louis for high quality growth and competitiveness in the 21st century economy.
The competition is no longer our bordering states to the south or east. Our competition is a growing class of cities in emerging markets around the globe, including South and East—Asia, that is.
I had the unique opportunity to spend six weeks in Southeast Asia as part of the Eisenhower Fellowship. I met with government, academic and business leaders, spending time with the people of Jakarta and Kuala Lumpur, Surabaya and Penang.
I saw first-hand the incredible pace of development and the aspirations of people everywhere to engage and compete across borders and cultures.
I went with a commitment to listen and learn. I came home with a realization we can and should be doing more.
St. Louis cannot be complacent. We must choose to be competitive in this global reality.
This is exactly why participation in Global Cities Initiative is timely and relevant. St. Louis will take a leadership position among peer cities, developing important global engagement strategies.
The region already has many of the ingredients for success: world-class companies; an educated workforce; spirit of innovation; and, through the St. Louis Mosaic Project, a groundbreaking immigration strategy that other cities are trying to emulate.
The Global Cities Initiative is yet another powerful tool to strategically align our assets, build consensus and develop a coordinated international agenda.
The St. Louis region is strong. It is diverse. And it is international in flavor and focus. But, like many communities, St. Louis faces economic challenges. We must enhance economic opportunity across the spectrums of race and rank.
I believe that effective and coordinated international strategies, developed through the Global Cities Initiative, will position St. Louis among the most globally minded, economically competitive and forward thinking regions in the United States.