Export Plan Will Leverage Local Knowledge to Boost the KC Region’s Global Trade.
by Jeff Pinkerton
When we think of Kansas City’s economy, we generally don’t think of exports — but we certainly should. International exports make up nearly 10 percent of our regional Gross Domestic Product, at $10.2 billion per year. That’s a lot of activity, but that large number is likely to grow even further thanks to the Kansas City Metro Export Plan that was just released by the World Trade Center of Kansas City.
The Kansas City metro is a participant in the Global Cities Initiative led by the Brookings Institution and JPMorgan Chase. As part of that effort, the World Trade Center developed the regional plan through a year-long process that involved business leaders and export service providers. The plan aims to create a richer export environment in Greater Kansas City by connecting potential exporters to existing export service providers that can help them get started. An earlier survey found that region’s export service providers received high marks for their work, but were relatively unknown throughout the business community. A key component of this plan is a new “export concierge program” that will provide one-on-one guidance and make sure businesses are connected to the right services at the right time.
The plan also calls for a high level of collaboration with local economic development agencies who already have strong relationships with businesses in their communities. These agencies can carry the international message out to local businesses, help identify potential exporters, and get them plugged in to the concierge service so they can get the assistance they need.
With 95 percent of the world’s consumers living outside of the U.S., businesses need to think globally in order to remain competitive. The World Trade Center’s export plan will go a long way to making that happen.
You can see a brief video that outlines the plan here.