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Global Cities Initiative Plan to Attract Foreign Direct Investment in the Works for DSM

March 23, 2015

Today, The Greater Des Moines Partnership announces that it has been selected to develop a regional plan to attract and leverage foreign direct investment, building off its existing Greater Des Moines Regional Export Plan, as part of the Global Cities Initiative, a joint project of the Brookings Institution and JPMorgan Chase. Launched in 2012, the Global Cities Initiative helps business and civic leaders grow their metropolitan economies by strengthening international connections and competitiveness.  GCI activities include producing data and research to guide decisions, fostering practice and policy innovations, and facilitating a peer-learning network. This opportunity is part of the next phase of the Global Cities Initiative’s Exchange, a network that assists metropolitan areas as they create strategies to support sustainable economic growth, first addressing exports and then foreign direct investment.

Des Moines will join Atlanta; Upstate S.C. representing the Greenville-Spartanburg-Anderson CSA; Los Angeles; Milwaukee; and Syracuse, N.Y. in developing their foreign direct investment plan. Brookings selected these six metro areas after an extensive application process. Des Moines 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 EB-5, private equity, joint ventures and sovereign wealth funds. 

“For this next phase, 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 global special projects.  “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.”

Foreign direct investment has long supported regional economies, not only by infusing capital, but also by investing in workers, strengthening global connections and sharing best business practices. As the world’s largest economy with a stable investment environment, the United States has been a top destination for foreign direct investment. Yet in the world’s increasingly competitive investment market America’s global share of foreign direct investment has fallen. 

For America to regain its standing, cities and metropolitan regions must capitalize on their competitive advantages. Metropolitan leaders, in partnership with their states, are best equipped to attract and retain foreign direct investment by promoting their areas’ unique specializations and establishing strategic and mutually beneficial relationships. Greater Des Moines is well positioned to make foreign direct investment a central component of broader regional economic development strategies. 

“We’re delighted that Des Moines has been selected to develop a global trade and investment plan – it’s exactly the kind of innovative planning that will help the community’s long-term economic success,” said Peter Kellenberger, Market Manager for Chase. “As a global company, we have a history of helping businesses connect to global markets and the Global Cities Initiative’s foreign direct investment work amplifies the region’s efforts to create jobs, attract capital and grow the economy.”

Des Moines will be represented by a team led by Mike Swesey, Senior Vice President of Economic Development for the Greater Des Moines Partnership.

“This is an exciting opportunity for Central Iowa,” said Mike Swesey. “We’re ready to move forward and continue to maximize the region’s significant assets to spur job growth and position the market for sustained growth by expanding foreign-direct investment while supporting the global ambitions of local companies.”

As part of this phase, The Greater Des Moines Partnership 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 regional export plan, forms the second core component of a global engagement strategy that will strengthen the region's global economic connections and competitiveness.

For more information on the Global Cities Initiative please visit brookings.edu/projects/global-cities.aspx or jpmorganchase.com/globalcities.

About the Greater Des Moines Partnership

The Greater Des Moines Partnership is the economic and community development organization that serves Greater Des Moines (DSM), Iowa. Together with 23 Affiliate Chambers of Commerce, more than 6,100 Regional Business Members and more than 320 Investors, The Partnership drives economic growth with one voice, one mission and as one region. Through innovation, strategic planning and global collaboration, The Partnership grows opportunity, helps create jobs and promotes DSM as the best place to build a business, a career and a future. Learn more at DSMpartnership.com.