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Driving Economic Growth Through Partnerships Between Academics, Trade Leaders

April 19, 2018 //

The U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) of the U.S. Department of Commerce has awarded The World Trade Center of Greater Philadelphia (WTCGP) a $1M, three-year matching grant to implement key strategies of the Greater Philadelphia Export Plan. As part of the nationwide Global Cities Initiative (GCI), supported by the Brookings Institution and JPMorgan Chase, the plan aims to increase the number of exporting companies and accelerate regional job and revenue growth through economic exports. Specifically, the plan will build capacity among the region’s small and medium-sized enterprises (SME’s), and bolster export growth in the Greater Philadelphia region’s health and professional services, architecture, design, engineering, and construction management companies.

Academic partnerships are key to the success of the GCI. Partners, such as Temple University’s Fox School of Business, help supply research to uncover data, trends, and analysis that directly impacts the professional and academic international business community. The end goal for such partnerships are to fuel economic growth, help companies’ increase their sales, and attract more investors in key industries for the region.

A recent study from Team Philadelphia, with Temple University leading the research and data analysis, sought to support GCI and uncover the global network analysis of the region. According to Brookings, Philadelphia ranks fifth among U.S. cities in terms of pharmaceutical exports. The region’s strengths in R&D and the innovation is needed for biotechnology, according to Dr. Ram Mudambi, professor at the Fox School, and his team. Philadelphia is higher up on the value chain, focusing in innovation rather than manufacturing. It remains a challenge for cities to learn how to balance this expertise at innovation with the desire for job creation at all levels, which would historically have been supported by manufacturing. In addition, Dr. Bertrand Guillotin, professor and academic director at the Fox School, contributed to the data collection efforts, which were crucial for the GCI’s first annual Philadelphia report.

For Pennsylvania, promoting exports from Philadelphia is a key economic development tool. It leads to job creation, higher wages, more stable companies, and a diverse market base for firms. Imports play an important role too. The United Kingdom, Switzerland, Germany, and Ireland are key trading partners both in terms of exporting and importing, which demonstrates that Pennsylvania is part of the pharmaceutical global value chain, interacting actively with these key country partners.

Temple University’s Center for International Business Education and Research (CIBER) is currently implementing more than 70 events to improve U.S. competitiveness in the world marketplace and to produce globally competent students, faculty, and staff. Temple CIBER at the Fox School has received a grant from the Department of Education since its inception in 2002 and is one of 17 such centers in the country. The CIBER grant supports academic research for the international business community, including helping produce research that meets the needs of global business objectives.

The program recognizes these figures in its efforts to help U.S. companies connect to global markets:

  • 95% of the world’s consumers live outside the U.S.
  • <1% of America’s 30 million companies export
  • 58% of U.S. companies that export do so to only one country
Learn more about the Fox School’s programs in International Business.
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