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SD one of six cities in Brookings FDI program

San Diego is joining a pilot to create and implement plans to attract foreign direct investment as part of the Global Cities Initiative, a joint project of the Brookings Institution and JPMorgan Chase.

This metro foreign direct investment pilot is the next phase of the Initiative’s Exchange, a network of metropolitan areas committed to establishing actionable plans that will promote greater global trade and economic competitiveness.

San Diego joined Columbus, Ohio; Minneapolis-Saint Paul; Portland, Ore.; San Antonio; and Seattle in Seattle on Thursday to participate in the first working session, where leaders will discuss the process for developing their city’s foreign direct investment plan. Brookings selected these six metro areas after an extensive application process. San Diego was selected for its readiness and commitment to strategically pursue foreign direct investment such as greenfield expansions, mergers and acquisitions, and other types of foreign investment including equity joint ventures, and sovereign wealth funds.

“For this pilot, we selected metro areas that are committed to attracting and leveraging foreign direct investment as part of a comprehensive global trade and investment strategy,” said Brad McDearman, Brookings fellow and director of metro trade and investment. “The six metro areas selected for this round will be strong role models for other regions and represent a growing group of leaders who understand the need to embrace the global market to remain competitive in the 21st century economy.”

San Diego will be represented in the pilot by a team of local leaders including Mark Cafferty of San Diego Regional Economic Development Corp., Joe Panetta of Biocom, San Diego City Councilman Mark Kersey, Dean Peter Cowhey of the University of California, San Diego’s School of International Relations and Pacific Studies and Monique Rodriguez from Qualcomm (Nasdaq: QCOM).

Under the leadership of Mayor Kevin Faulconer, the Global Cities Initiative’s metropolitan foreign direct investment planning will help pioneer the region’s global competitiveness strategy.

“San Diego’s strong ties to international markets, high‐growth industries and culture of innovation mean we have the necessary ingredients to attract foreign direct investment to the region,” said Faulconer. “I am honored Brookings selected San Diego for this pilot program and I look forward to working with the core team to show that San Diego is open for business”

San Diego’s existing stronghold on the life sciences industry will help focus the FDI strategy. With more than 600 life sciences companies and more than 80 research institutes, biotech is a driving example of how a successful foreign direct investment strategy can promote the region’s competitiveness.

As part of the pilot, San Diego 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 export plan, forms the second core component of a global engagement strategy that will strengthen the region's global economic connections and competitiveness.

“We’re delighted that San Diego will be a part of this new pilot -- it’s exactly the kind of innovative planning that will ensure our community’s long-term economic success,” said Brennon Crist, JPMorgan Chase market manager for Middle Market/Commercial Banking in San Diego. “We have a history of helping businesses connect to global markets and the Global Cities Initiative’s foreign direct investment work brings another level of depth to our region’s efforts to further create jobs, attract capital and grow our economy.”

Launched in 2012, the Global Cities Initiative is a five‐year joint project of Brookings and JPMorgan Chase (NYSE: JPM) aimed at helping city and metropolitan leaders become more globally fluent by providing an in‐depth and data‐driven look at their regional standing on crucial global economic measures, highlighting best policy and practice innovations from around the world, and creating an international network of leaders who ultimately trade and grow together.

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