News / Press Release

LARExC Selected to Develop Plan to Attract Foreign Direct Investment as a Part of Global Cities Initiative

LOS ANGELES, CA — Today, the Los Angeles Regional Export Council (LARExC) announces that Los Angeles has been selected to develop a regional plan to attract and leverage foreign direct investment, building off its existing export plan as part of the Global Cities Initiative, a joint project of the Brookings Institution and JPMorgan Chase. LARExc will be joined in this process by the five surrounding counties of Greater Los Angeles, including L.A. county, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, and Ventura. Launched in 2012, the Global Cities Initiative helps 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. This opportunity is part of the next phase of the Global Cities Initiative’s Exchange, a network that assists metropolitan areas as they create strategies to support sustainable economic growth, first addressing exports and then foreign direct investment.                  

Los Angeles will join Atlanta; Des Moines, Iowa; Upstate S.C. representing the Greenville-Spartanburg-Anderson CSA; Milwaukee; and Syracuse, N.Y. in developing their foreign direct investment plan. Brookings selected these six metro areas after an extensive application process. Los Angeles was selected for its readiness and commitment to strategically pursue foreign direct investment such as greenfield expansions, mergers and acquisitions, and other types of foreign investment including EB-5, private equity, joint ventures and sovereign wealth funds.

“For this next phase, we selected metro areas that are committed to attracting and leveraging foreign direct investment as part of a comprehensive global trade and investment strategy,” said Brad McDearman, Brookings fellow and director of global special projects. “The six metro areas selected for this round will be strong role models for other regions and represent a growing group of leaders who understand the need to embrace the global market to remain competitive in the 21st century economy.”


Foreign direct investment has long supported regional economies, not only by infusing capital, but also by investing in workers, strengthening global connections and sharing best business practices. As the world’s largest economy with a stable investment environment, the United States has been a top destination for foreign direct investment. Yet in the world’s increasingly competitive investment market America’s global share of foreign direct investment has fallen.


For America to regain its standing, cities and metropolitan regions must capitalize on their competitive advantages. Metropolitan leaders, in partnership with their states, are best equipped to attract and retain foreign direct investment by promoting their areas’ unique specializations and establishing strategic and mutually beneficial relationships. L.A. is well positioned to make foreign direct investment a central component of broader regional economic development strategies.


“We’re delighted that L.A. has been selected to develop a global trade and investment plan – it’s exactly the kind of innovative planning that will ensure our community’s long-term economic success,” said Robert Lagace, Managing Director, Middle Market Banking for Greater Los Angeles, JPMorgan Chase. “We have a history of helping businesses connect to global markets and the Global Cities Initiative’s foreign direct investment work brings another level of depth to our region’s efforts to further create jobs, attract capital and grow our economy.”

L.A. will be represented by a team of local leaders including LARExC, the Port of Los Angeles, Los Angeles World Airports,, Mayor Eric Garcetti’s Office of International Trade,the Governor's Office of Business & Economic Development (GO-Biz), as well as representatives of each of the five surrounding counties of Greater Los Angeles.

“We look forward to working with the Brookings Institution, JPMorgan Chase and the Global Cities Initiative to expand on our existing plan to attract more foreign direct investment and better leverage those assets within the L.A. region. The Los Angeles Regional Export Council has already been working to strengthen the regional economy and competitiveness through exports, and this opportunity will be extremely valuable in those ongoing efforts,” said Carlos Valderrama, senior vice president of Global Initiatives for the L.A. Area Chamber, a key partner of LARExC.


As part of this phase, L.A. will develop two documents that