Crossroads of America 2.0: Taking the Indy Region Global

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As a transformational economic development paradigm, the Global Cities Initiative, a joint project of The Brookings Institution and JPMorgan Chase, is encouraging the Indy Chamber to look at how we practice regional economic development by approaching everything we do from a global perspective.

Economic development in the Indianapolis region by simple practice should not be divided into domestic and international functions. Every function of economic development including business attraction, existing business expansion, entrepreneur services, advocacy, and even networking should be practiced with a global mindset. In order to compete on an international stage, a shift in traditional economic development of looking over the proverbial neighbor’s fence of state and county lines is necessary. Seeking global business for our region by providing export assistance and seeking new projects from outside the U.S. is key and will be the sustainable economic development practice of world class cities of the future.

As part of this theory for economic development of the future, the Indy Chamber conducted extensive market research, regional business surveys and in-person interviews to develop several key findings as it relates to a regional export strategy. A few of these key findings include:

  • The Indy region has strong, identifiable clusters such as life sciences and advanced manufacturing with new, growing industries within the licensing and royalties cluster with information technology, professional services, and chemicals.
  • Most exporters in our region have entrepreneurial-minded leadership that leverages foreign relationships and partnerships in order to capitalize on export opportunities.
  • Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa (BRICS) are quickly becoming key export markets for our region’s businesses.
  • In order to grow our region’s export potential, further investment in export infrastructure, attention to challenges, and a rebranding of the Indianapolis region as an international export hub are critical.

As we continue to study, develop and implement our globally-focused regional economic development strategy, we look forward to working with our partners in the Global Cities Initiative and you, our strong, dedicated, forward-thinking membership to ensure we are making the greatest impact on the future of our region.

A full export market assessment and plan will be published in fall 2014. For more information on the Global Cities Initiative and how you can be involved, contact Marty Vanags, VP Regional Economic Development at 317.464.2200.

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