Baltimore metro area releases export market assessment

Report finds small, mid-size business sector missing export potential

Baltimore, Md. – October 19, 2015 – Today the Greater Baltimore Committee and four partners are releasing an export market assessment, a critical step in its development of a regional export strategy that will outline specific steps local business, civic, and government leaders can take to increase their export activity and grow global engagement.

This strategy is part of the Baltimore region’s participation in the Global Cities Initiative, a joint project of the Brookings Institution and JPMorgan Chase. The market assessment evaluates the region’s current export economy and its potential for growth.

“Greater Baltimore leaders are acting on what research shows is untapped exporting potential that can grow the region’s economy and support better quality jobs,” said Marek Gootman, director of strategic partnerships and global initiatives at the Brookings Institution. “Using the results of this market assessment, metro partners will determine how to better help local firms and the region take advantage of opportunities in the global marketplace. Greater Baltimore is among a select group of metro areas working to strengthen their international connections and competitiveness through the Global Cities Initiative, where executing regional trade strategies is yielding tangible results.”

Exports are a critical component of a regional economic development strategy, bringing in outside capital, and helping local businesses expand to create more jobs. Yet exports are an under-utilized economic development tool and only 5 percent of U.S. firms currently export.

This export strategy will help Baltimore businesses increase their exports and capitalize on the growing consumer class outside the United States.

“International trade and investment represents a promising pathway for local businesses to create jobs, attract capital and grow our economy,” said Matt Beardall, Managing Director and Market President, Mid-Atlantic Region, JPMorgan Chase & Co. “JPMorgan Chase is proud to be a part of the development of Baltimore’s export plan and to support innovative planning that will lead to our region’s future economic success.”

Key findings from the assessment of the Baltimore export market include:

  • The region ranks 28th out of the 100 largest metro regions in terms of export value.
  • Small and mid-size businesses perceive a number of challenges with exporting.
  • The region’s historic reliance on government spending has hindered export opportunities.
  • Top international markets for the region’s key export industries: Europe, Asia, Canada.
  • Top export business sectors include: Heathcare, education, and information technology.

“As a metro area Baltimore has real strengths in healthcare, education and tourism, which combined generate more than $1 billion in exports,” said Donald C. Fry, President and CEO of the Greater Baltimore Committee (GBC), which has been leading the Baltimore Global Cities Initiative with four other partners.

“But export trade activity represents a lot of untapped potential in small and mid-size companies that could be leveraged for future economic growth in the Baltimore region. Expanding our export activity could also help adjust our region’s dependence on federal and other government spending,” Fry noted.

Over the next several months the GBC and its partners will be working with input from a broad steering committee to develop strategies and recommendations that address these findings.

Along with the GBC, the core Baltimore team includes the Maryland Department of Commerce, Towson University’s Regional Economic Studies Institute, Baltimore Metropolitan Council, and the Baltimore Development Corporation.

The Baltimore team is continually enhancing its list of companies in the region that export or have the potential to grow their international activity.

If your company exports or is interested in exporting, please contact the GBC to discuss your current activities. Call 410-727-2820.

The Global Cities Initiative is a joint project of the Brookings Institution and JPMorgan Chase to help business and civic leaders grow their metropolitan economies by strengthening international connections and competitiveness. GCI activities include producing data and research to guide decisions, fostering practice and policy innovations, and facilitating a peer learning network.

For more information, click here or here.

View Baltimore’s Metro Export Market Assessment here.

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