New Global Investment Strategy Released to Maximize Region’s Global Potential

Posted on June 6, 2016

Centerstate Ceo  2016 Fdi Report  Draft V4 Page1
CenterState CEO and regional partners have announced the release of the CenterState New York Global Investment Initiative, a comprehensive plan that outlines why local business, civic, and government leaders should leverage exports and foreign direct investment to grow global engagement. This strategy is an integral stage of CenterState New York’s ongoing participation in the Global Cities Initiative (GCI), a joint project of the Brookings Institution and JPMorgan Chase. The plan integrates and builds on lessons learned from the region’s previous GCI endeavors, including a market assessment and the development of the CenterState New York Export Plan, which was released in 2012.


Representatives from Brookings and JPMorgan Chase joined regional business leaders in Syracuse to discuss the plans findings.

 "This planning process and resulting strategies will help local firms and the region take advantage of opportunities in the global marketplace,” said Marek Gootman, fellow and director of strategic partnerships and global initiatives at the Brookings Institution. “CenterState New York joins a select group of metro areas working to strengthen their international connections and competitiveness through the Global Cities Initiative, where executing regional trade and investment strategies is yielding measurable results.”

With more than 85 percent of global growth through 2019 projected to occur outside the United States, global engagement is a necessity if cities want to catalyze both their economies and their workforce. Global companies – those that export and receive foreign direct investment (FDI) – pay higher average wages, contribute more to regional R&D efforts, and increase productivity of domestic markets through the infusion of new technologies and practices.

 "Now more than ever, it critical that we understand the global forces that impact us economically," said Robert Simpson, president of CenterState CEO. "These findings and strategies provide guidance on how our region can capture a greater share of FDI opportunities, and are part of our ongoing efforts to engage the community and public policy leaders on how we can increase our competitiveness in the global marketplace."

Key findings from CenterState New York Global Investment Initiative include:

  1. The region’s size and connectedness are an advantage.
  2. CenterState New York’s location and natural assets offer advantages to specific business sectors and geographies.
  3. In some instances, local firms that have merged with or been acquired by foreign firms have become more resilient.
  4. CenterState New York’s economy has seen growth in advanced industries. This creates opportunities to attract new foreign direct investment (FDI).
  5. Foreign-owned businesses need at least as much aftercare as locally-owned firms. Yet foreign firms often don’t know who to contact for assistance, or the assistance needed is not readily available.

Based a market assessment, data collection and analysis, and interviews with approximately two dozen foreign-owned firms in the region, several strategies emerged as opportunities to strengthen the region’s competitiveness in global markets, attract new investments, expand the FDI pipeline, and accelerate the growth of businesses while increasing prosperity for residents.

Strategies outlined in the CenterState New York Global Investment Initiative include:

  1. Focus on Industries of the Future - promote the region as a hub for UAS, data to decisions, engineering, technical services, biotechnology, environmental systems and agribusiness.
  2. Leverage Connections - utilize the region’s relatively small size and integrated economic development model to build networks that attract and guide FDI, and build stronger relationships with and knowledge of existing firms of all sizes.
  3. Engage Rationally - focus on Europe, Canada and business sectors that are a match for this location, URI initiatives and assets.
  4. Leverage Merger & Acquisitions (M&A) to Address Capital, Technology and Market Challenges - actively seek to identify and connect legacy industries and struggling, companies to regional M&A service providers and foreign investors. Facilitate a process based on historical outcomes that will produce positive results for these companies and the community.
  5. Welcome and Support Foreign-owned Businesses - support firms that are established in the region through greenfield and M&A investments to help ensure their growth and expanded foothold in the U.S. market; these firms are susceptible to relocation out of the region if they are not adequately supported.

“International trade and investment represents a promising pathway for local businesses to create jobs, attract capital and grow our economy.” said John Huhtala, vice president, Middle Market/Commercial Banking, JPMorgan Chase. “JPMorgan Chase is proud to be a part of the development of CenterState New York’s global investment strategies, and to support innovative planning that will lead to the region’s future economic success.”

The Syracuse region is one of several metros across the U.S., including Metro Atlanta, Des Moines, Upstate South Carolina, Milwaukee and Los Angeles, selected to work with Brookings and JPMorgan Chase for the second round of the Global Cities Initiative, focused on FDI. Among the benefits of the Brookings development process is the opportunity to connect with these other areas on their regions’ findings, and gather insight and lessons learned from the first cohort of the Global Cities Initiative (Columbus, Portland, Minnesota, San Antonio, San Diego and Seattle).

“The region has a proven track record of harnessing collaboration to create success,” said Tracy Verrier, economic development technical specialist and acting director, Cayuga Economic Development Agency. “The implementation of the CenterState New York Global Investment Initiative will continue that collaboration, helping communities throughout the region be more proactive in providing the many global companies that already call CenterState home the customized support they need, as well as in attracting new investments and businesses.”

The initiative was released at a meeting of CenterState CEO Investor members at INFICON Inc. INFICON, with global headquarters in Switzerland, recently underwent a $20 million, 70,000-square-foot expansion at its East Syracuse manufacturing facility to accommodate its ongoing growth in the region. The event featured a panel discussion with foreign-owned businesses in the region, including INFICON, National Grid, and Saab-Sensis Corp., that have benefited from FDI opportunities.

“This region offers significant potential for companies across the globe to invest and grow here, thus contributing to the overall economic competitiveness of the region,” said Peter Maier, President INFICON Inc.  “Central New York offers cost advantages, talented and highly educated employees, and access to specialized supply chains and market opportunities that make it an excellent location for foreign firms.”

For more findings and information on the CenterState New York Global Investment Initiative please visit: .

“We’d like to extend our sincere appreciation to the many organizations in the region who provided support for this effort,” said Mike Novakowski, director of business development for CenterState CEO. “These findings and strategies were developed with the support of several economic development organizations, such as the Development Authority of the North Country, Mohawk Valley Edge, and Cayuga Economic Development Agency; regional colleges and universities; regional industrial development agencies; and approximately two dozen foreign-owned businesses in the 12-county CenterState New York region that participated in interviews. These contributions made it possible to achieve a greater understanding of the current state of FDI in the region.”

Core Team

Cayuga Economic Development Agency
CenterState CEO
CNY International Business Alliance
Mohawk Valley EDGE
New York State Department of Economic Development - International Division
Onondaga County
SUNY Oswego
U.S. Commercial Service, U.S. Department of Commerce

Steering Committee

Cortland County Business Development Corp.
Development Authority of the North Country
Jefferson County IDA
K&N Foods USA, LLC
Lewis County IDA
Madison County IDA
National Grid
Operation Oswego County
Seneca County IDA
St. Lawrence County IDA
Tompkins County Area Development

About the Global Cities Initiative The Global Cities Initiative is a joint-project of the Brookings Institution and JPMorgan Chase designed to help metropolitan leaders advance and grow their regional economies by strengthening international connections and competitiveness on key economic indicators. GCI activities include producing data and research to guide decisions, fostering practice and policy innovations, and facilitating a peer-learning network through replication and dissemination. For more information, see or

About CenterState CEOCenterState CEO is an independent and forward thinking economic development strategist, business leadership organization and chamber of commerce; dedicated to the success of its members and the prosperity of the region. We serve as an advocate and resource for smart business, catalyze and facilitate regional growth, and promote community prosperity through results-driven partnerships, planning and problem-solving.

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