Keys to Capitalizing on International Opportunities

Ashtabula County is the home to many internationally owned companies. The largest is Cristal USA, but there are many others which have been discussed in earlier forum articles.

Here are some insights aimed at metro areas, but many of the same tips apply to Ashtabula County, as a semi-rural county. The Brookings Global Cities Initiative’s new report, The 10 Lessons from Global Trade and Investment Planning in U.S. Metro Areas, recognizes that cities are the primary driver of the world economy and global engagement is necessary for the United States to remain competitive.

Half of the world’s population now lives in cities, a proportion that will increase to 66 percent by 2050 (United Nations). Furthermore, 600 cities now generate 60 percent of the world’s GDP (McKinsey & Company). And it is estimated that by 2030, two-thirds of the world’s middle class will live in the Asia-Pacific region.

The report identified 10 lessons for U.S. cities to harness global markets, stressing the importance of business retention and expansion, industry clusters, and workforce:

  1. The primary benefit of global trade and investment is increased competitiveness, not quick jobs.
  2. The most important firms are the ones you already have.
  3. FDI and exports are closely linked.
  4. Leading with real specializations opens doors for firms.
  5. The middle market offers outsized opportunities.
  6. Mergers and acquisitions are the dominant form of FDI.
  7. Global engagement must be a demonstrated priority.
  8. Global commerce is driven by relationships and networks.
  9. Metro areas are unsure of how to harness emerging forms of global capital.
  10. Competing on a global scale requires metros to intensify efforts on other critical economic issues.

Source: IEDC

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