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  • Written by Andrew Donohoe

Global Cities Initiative and Committee for Sydney Host U.S., Australian Delegations for Conference on Improving Global Economic Competitiveness 

U.S. political, business and economic leaders convene in Sydney to discuss global trade and investment, city-to-city economic strategies, and metropolitan development opportunities 

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA – Today, the Global Cities Initiative, a joint project of the Brookings Institution and JPMorgan Chase, and the Committee for Sydney began a one-and-a -half day conference of U.S. and Australian business, civic, and elected leaders focused on local and metropolitan strategies to improve global economic competitiveness and connections.

The U.S. delegation, composed of mayors and deputy mayors from Louisville, San Diego, Salt Lake County, and Seattle as well as economic and business leaders from Atlanta, Phoenix, and Portland, represents some of the most prominent metropolitan areas across the U.S. They also bring with them proven global trade strategies and international experiences to share with their Australian counterparts.

“The Committee for Sydney is delighted to be hosting the Global Cities Initiative in Sydney over these two days and we welcome the recognition that this affords Sydney as a significant global city,” said Dr. Tim Williams, CEO of the Committee for Sydney. “Cities are the driving economic force of our nations’ economies and are playing a pivotal role in the future of our countries. Around the world city to city networks are being developed, collaborating strategically across regions and national boundaries. Sydney is proud to be part of this global network and through our collaboration with the Global Cities Initiative we are strengthening Sydney’s international ties” he went on to say.

The discussions began last night with an exclusive welcome dinner bringing together a group of around 50 high-level business, civic, and elected leaders, including a delegation of representatives from U.S. cities and Committee for Sydney members and stakeholders. The dinner featured a dialogue with the Hon. Rob Stokes, MP, NSW Minister for Planning, which will explore some of the opportunities and challenges shared by Sydney and the participant US cities. This morning, the Committee for Sydney and the Global Cities Initiative mounted a workshop on local and metropolitan strategies to improve global economic competitiveness and connections. The goal is for U.S. and Australian cities to exchange best practices, share lessons learned, and establish ties on issues of mutual interest.

The workshop, titled “Building and Sustaining a Globally Competitive Region,” will feature speakers and participants from both the U.S. and Australian delegations in attendance and will highlight examples of how U.S. and Australian metro areas are creating new, market-driven economic strategies in the face of the shared challenge of growth.

“City leaders across the world are discovering that trade and investment strategies are catalysts of economic development and growth,” said Peter Kaldes, head of the Global Cities Initiative, JPMorgan Chase. “We’re looking forward to sharing the practical tools, knowledge, and leadership of the Global Cities Initiative with Sydney.”

Following the panel discussion will be two parallel sessions. The first will focus on human capital and the global economy and the second will discuss strategic engagement in trade and investment.  A wrap-up discussion and tour of Sydney will conclude the events.

“Business, civic, and elected leaders from North America all the way to Australia are responding to new global opportunities afforded through international relationships, exports, and global trade and investment,” Marek Gootman, director of strategic partnerships and global initiatives, at the Brookings Metropolitan Policy Program, noted.  “The workshop in Sydney provides a forum that will help U.S. and Australian leaders steward their regions through this period of dynamic change and growth.”

The Global Cities Initiative combines Brookings’ deep expertise in fact-based, metro-focused research and JPMorgan Chase’s longstanding commitment to investing in cities. The Initiative equips metropolitan leaders with tools to expand the global reach of their local economies by leveraging their assets and focusing on key indicators such as advanced manufacturing, exports, FDI, and infrastructure.

The Brookings Institution is a private non-profit organization. Its mission is to conduct high-quality, independent research and, based on that research, to provide innovative, practical recommendations for policymakers and the public. Support for the Global Cities Initiative was generously provided by JPMorgan Chase. Brookings recognizes that the value it provides is in its absolute commitment to quality, independence and impact, and makes all final determinations of the scholarly activities in the Global Cities Initiative, including the research agenda and products.

Launched in 2012, the Global Cities Initiative is a five-year joint project of Brookings and JPMorgan Chase aimed at helping city and metropolitan leaders become more globally fluent by providing an in-depth and data-driven look at their regional standing on crucial global economic measures, highlighting best policy and practice innovations from around the world, and creating an international network of leaders who ultimately trade and grow together. The Initiative is chaired by Richard M. Daley, the former mayor of Chicago, and directed by Bruce Katz and Amy Liu, co-directors of the Brookings Metropolitan Policy Program. For more information please visit www.brookings.edu/projects/global-cities.aspx or www.jpmorganchase.com/globalcities.

The Committee for Sydney is an independent think tank and champion for the whole of Sydney, providing thought leadership beyond the electoral cycle. Our members include major companies, universities, not-for-profits, strategically significant local governments and key cultural, sporting and marketing bodies. We represent no one sector or interest but we share one passion: Sydney and the role it plays as Australia’s global city. We are advocates for colloboration and a new kind of partnership between the public and private sectors; enabling Sydney to ‘collaborate to compete’ more effectively and shaping public policy to ensure a sustainable and prosperous future for Greater Sydney. For more information please visit: www.sydney.org.au

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