Sharing an Export-Driven Growth Strategy for the Region
Last week, more than 200 cross-sector leaders gathered at WHYY for the launch of the Greater Philadelphia Export Plan. The event marked the culmination of a year-long effort led by the Economy League and the World Trade Center of Greater Philadelphia to develop an action-oriented metro export plan to boost job and revenue growth by helping more area firms sell their goods and services abroad.
Developed with input from economic development and trade experts from across southeastern Pennsylvania, southern New Jersey, and northern Delaware, the plan makes the case for why exports are so important for sustainable growth in our region and presents priority strategies and tactics to take Greater Philadelphia’s export activity to the next level. Implementing the plan will have a substantial impact – estimates indicate that bringing Philadelphia’s export intensity on par with the average for the 100 largest metros in the U.S. (we currently rank 62nd) would result in $6.3 billion in new annual economic activity and 35,000 jobs.
The diverse array of business, civic, and government stakeholders that have had a hand in creating the export plan was on display at the event. Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development Secretary Dennis Davin kicked things off by stressing the Commonwealth’s sustained commitment to supporting global trade and investment via its award-winning Office of International Business Development. Economy League Managing Director Josh Sevin unveiled the plan, which focuses on expanding export awareness and capacity among small businesses, catalyzing export growth in the region’s health and professional services clusters, and strengthening coordination within Greater Philadelphia’s export support ecosystem.
A panel discussion including Marek Gootman of the Brookings Institution, City of Philadelphia Commerce Director Harold Epps, and World Trade Center President Linda Conlin highlighted the roles of government and export service providers in engaging area businesses around their export potential. Mirroring the export plan’s emphasis on helping local firms go global, the forum featured several business executives telling their export success stories, including Philadelphia-based Bassetts Ice Cream Company; Newark, DE-based medical devices firm LiteCure; Doylestown-based software company PARIS Technologies; and West Berlin, NJ-based radar equipment manufacturer Sunhillo Corp.
The World Class Business Growth forum concluded with university, business, and nonprofit leaders talking about how they will align their efforts with the export plan’s objectives and priority strategies and announcement of a fundraising campaign to drive plan implementation.
Missed out on the export plan launch? Catch up with the following resources:
Greater Philadelphia Export Initiative Market Assessment that set the stage for the plan
Inquirer and PBJ articles
- Go sell it: Export globally to grow sales and jobs, plan for region urges, Philadelphia Inquirer, April 14
- Economy League, World Trade Center unveil export plan to boost Phila. jobs, revenue, Philadelphia Business Journal, April 13
- Ship 'em out: Exports can cure what ails local economy, study urges, Philadelphia Inquirer, April 10
Op-ed from the chairs of the Economy League and World Trade Center of Greater Philadelphia
Find out what others are saying about the Export Plan: