Brookings Institution leads innovative Exchange program
The Wichita metropolitan region has been selected to join a prestigious multi-city network that could help spur its economic recovery through expanded international trade.
The offer was extended jointly by the Brookings Institution and JPMorgan Chase, who announced Thursday the launch of the Exchange, a new network of 20 pioneering metropolitan areas committed to increased global trade and economic competitiveness.
Wichita was one of eight communities named Thursday to join the 20-city Exchange. Others include Atlanta, GA.; Greenville, SC; Indianapolis IN; Jacksonville, FL; Milwaukee, WI; Phoenix, AZ, and Sacramento, CA. The eight cities will join 12 other major American cities who already are using Brookings resources for export planning.
The Wichita application to the program was jointly prepared by the Greater Wichita Economic Development Coalition (GWEDC) and Kansas Global Trade Services, a Wichita-based non-profit organization dedicated to global trade opportunities.
Local funding to support the initiative has tentatively been approved by a coalition of regional partners, including GWEDC, the South-Central Kansas Regional Area Economic Partnership (REAP) and other local government entities. Kansas Global Trade Services will provide management oversight of the program.
Under the Exchange, each metropolitan area will develop a customized strategy for export growth and foreign investment. Leaders of the communities will establish metro-to-metro relationships to share best practices in globally-oriented economic development.
“This is a tremendous opportunity for the Wichita region and the State of Kansas,” said Stan Ahlerich, board chairman of Kansas Global Trade Services. “It is encouraging that the Brookings Institution recognizes the potential for Wichita to return to its top national ranking in export performance.”
The benefits of expanded global trade will have a dramatic impact on the local, regional and state economy, noted Tim Chase, GWEDC president.