In his 2014 State of the State address, Governor Cuomo introduced Global NY to Round IV of the Regional Economic Development Council (REDC) initiative. Global NY has two complementary economic growth objectives: to attract international investment and jobs and to provide New York businesses with the tools and assistance they need to export their products to the international marketplace.
The REDCs were asked to develop and implement Global Marketing and Export Strategies, incorporating foreign trade and investment approaches into regional planning efforts. BNE President and CEO, Thomas Kucharski is chair of the Western New York Global NY initiative. Chris Scalisi of World Trade Center Buffalo Niagara and BNE’s Graham Smith assisted Empire State Development’s WNY regional office with drafting the following regional strategies for increasing exports and foreign direct investments (FDI) in WNY:
• Retain international university graduates and leverage their personal networks to attract trade and investment.
• Leverage the growing foreign-born population to attract FDI and develop new business relationships in overseas countries.
• Identify the business intelligence and international export needs of regional companies to discover trade and reverse missions.
• Create an international marketing brand that focuses on available assets, excess capacity, and international brokerage support services already available across Upstate NY.
• Unite the region around a competitive identity and communicate a consistent message to the world.
• Generate high quality business attraction leads that would not have considered the region otherwise.
• Make the location decision process for foreign companies easy and risk-free.
• Brand and market Upstate NY as a trade gateway to attract overseas trade and investment.
The initial phase in executing this plan will engage regional stakeholders to provide input and expertise. The second phase will include analyzing our brand and how it plays in the global marketplace. We will use that knowledge to target European and Asian markets where we have had success in the past. The final phase will fully implement the strategies and identify growth markets and industries. Western New York is well positioned to be a competitive global force, a center for exports and foreign direct investment.
By Graham Smith, BNE Research Director