Lexington, Ky. – The Bluegrass Economic Advancement Movement (BEAM) region has been selected to develop a regional plan to attract and leverage foreign direct investment as part of the Global Cities Initiative, a joint project of the Brookings Institution and JPMorgan Chase.
The BEAM region, 22 counties that include and surround Louisville and Lexington, will join Charleston, Chicago, Indianapolis, Phoenix and Wichita in developing their foreign direct investment plan. These six metro areas were selected by Brookings after undergoing an extensive application process.
BEAM was selected for its readiness and commitment to strategically pursue foreign direct investment through such activities as greenfield expansions, mergers and acquisitions, and other types of foreign investment, including EB-5, private equity, joint-ventures and sovereign wealth funds. BEAM is well positioned to make foreign direct investment a central component of broader regional economic development strategies.
BEAM was launched by Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer and Mayor Jim Gray of Lexington in 2011. The strategic partnership implements a regional economic development approach for the state’s two largest metropolitan areas.
“Foreign investment is an important and growing part of the ecosystem that supports our regional economy,” said Fischer. “These investments have helped build robust and innovative activity, particularly in our manufacturing economy, because excellence seeks excellence. Domestic and foreign firms are drawn to what we offer here, and they help make it better.”
Kentucky has had four straight years of record-breaking export growth, with 2014 exports totaling $27.5 billion. According to the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development, 31 percent of Kentucky’s announced investment in 2015 came from foreign direct investment – dominated by the automotive industry, and 20 percent of Kentucky’s new jobs are a result of foreign direct investment.
Launched in 2012, the Global Cities Initiative is designed to help metropolitan leaders advance and grow their regional economies by strengthening international connections and competitiveness on key economic indicators such as advanced manufacturing, exports, foreign direct investment and traded sectors.