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Brookings Targets Tampa Bay For Export Training

The Tampa Bay region has been chosen among other selected metro areas in the U.S. to participate in the prestigious Brookings Metropolitan Export Exchange. The Brookings Institution initiative helps local economies come up with their own export plans that target growth through market intelligence designed to increase the region’s exports and create jobs.

"The real impact of the selection will be increased business opportunities and jobs,'' says Betty Carlin of the Tampa Bay Partnership. "Tampa Bay makes up 25 percent of the state’s economy, yet we represent only 15.6 percent of Florida’s merchandise exports. We see that gap as an opportunity for real growth that a customized export plan could help us bridge.''

Tampa Bay exports increased more than 18 percent in 2011 compared to 2010, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce. Carlin says that some of the area’s major exports include computer and electronic equipment, chemicals and transportation equipment.

The Brookings Metropolitan Export Exchange, part of the Brookings-Rockefeller Project on state and metropolitan innovation, is a six- to 12-month program that involves training, and regional team work assignments.  Tampa plans to prepare an export market assessment, export strategy, as well as an implementation plan and policy memo as part of the exchange project.  Tampa leaders involved in the project expect to be completed with their export plan within six to nine months.

Writer: Kimberly Patterson
Source: Betty Carlin, Tampa Bay Partnership
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