Global Cities Initiative provides Tampa Bay Export Alliance framework for FDI efforts

June 19, 2017

On May 31, the Tampa Bay Export Alliance (TBEA) unveiled its Global Tampa Bay Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) plan, a regional global investment strategy that outlines steps for local business, civic, and government leaders to take to leverage FDI to grow global engagement. The plan is an important piece of the region’s participation in the Global Cities Initiative (GCI), a joint project of the Brookings Institution and JPMorgan Chase.

The final plan incorporates lessons learned from previous GCI endeavors, including an initial market assessment followed by export and foreign direct investment strategies. Over the last 10 months, the Tampa Bay core team has collected volumes of data, completed in-depth research, conducted 33 face-to-face interviews with locally based foreign owned companies, held several roundtables and working group sessions, and attended cohort exchange meetings in Washington.

Some of the key findings from the market assessment include:
– A significant amount of FDI activity is being driven by an existing connection to the region
– Tampa Bay is exhibiting clustering behavior in the financial, professional and shared services industry
– Foreign-owned companies are not immune to the workforce and transportation challenges facing the region
– Tampa Bay needs a globally competitive brand identity and a comprehensive regional marketing effort to be recognized as a top business destination.

“This is the first time that we’ve come together as a region to develop a strategy for marketing Tampa Bay globally,” said Craig J. Richard, CEcD, president and CEO of Tampa Hillsborough Economic Development Corporation. “Everyone on the core team and steering committee had a role in developing this plan, and all of us will be responsible for driving this initiative and making it a success.”

TBEA revealed the plan at Tampa International Airport, with members of the Tampa Bay Core Team and Steering Committee present. Richard, with Mike Meidel, director of Pinellas County Economic Development, and Bill Cronin, head of Pasco EDC, spoke with the group, highlighting what it’s been like to sell the region internationally and the challenges we face as we move this initiative forward.

The TBEA would like to thank Dan Howat and JPMorgan Chase for their support throughout this endeavor.

For more information on the Tampa Bay Export Alliance, please visit