On July 28, members of the St. Louis business community gathered at Washington University in St. Louis to celebrate the launch of the St. Louis Metro Export Plan. This joint venture between the St. Louis Economic Development Partnership and World Trade Center St. Louis aims to transform the metropolitan area from a well-known industrial hub to an export powerhouse. The export plan’s launch follows a year-long study by the Global Cities Initiative, a project conducted by JPMorgan Chase and the Brookings Institution, which encourages metropolitan areas to boost their economies through competitive international trade. The World Trade Center St. Louis led the application process for the region to be selected as one of the 28 metros in the project.
St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay stated that “St. Louis is taking a leadership position” with the export plan and that the region is eager to compete in the global market. St. Louis County Executive Steve Stenger mentioned that small to medium businesses and startups are a particular focus of the export plan, capitalizing on the region’s innovative ecosystem.
Along with the launch of the export plan, World Trade Center St. Louis Executive Director Tim Nowak announced the creation of the St. Louis Trade Commission, a task force housed in the World Trade Center St. Louis that is responsible for helping regional businesses and organizations find information about the exporting trade and opportunities in foreign markets. The St. Louis Regional Chamber will assist in funding the St. Louis Trade Commission for the next three years. The Chamber was also involved in advocating for St. Louis’ selection for the Global Cities Initiative last year.
In addition, America’s Central Port Executive Director Dennis Wilmsmeyer, who also acted as the chair of the St. Louis Global Cities Steering Committee, announced the launch of the St. Louis Export Challenge. This competition is aimed at small and medium-sized businesses as well as startups to develop exports plans in the hopes of winning a $125,000 prize from JPMorgan Chase. Mayor Slay, County Executive Stenger, Mr. Nowak and St. Louis Economic Development Partnership CEO Shelia Sweeney unveiled the prize check to the audience at the event.
(From left to right) County Executive Steve Stenger, St. Louis Economic Development Partnership CEO Shelia Sweeney, JPMorgan Chase Division Manager & Executive Director Craig Hortsmann, World Trade Center St. Louis Executive Director Tim Nowak and St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay unveil the $125,000 prize check for the Accelerate St. Louis Export Challenge on June 28, 2016.
To see the Metro St. Louis Export Plan, click here.
To learn more about the St. Louis Export Challenge, click here.