A new effort to expand southwestern Pennsylvania’s presence in the global marketplace is being launched today at a meeting expected to bring together 150 representatives of international organizations and other interested parties.
“Now is the time to start looking outward to build Pittsburgh into the real global competitor that it can be,” said Roger Cranville, senior vice president, global investment for the Pittsburgh Regional Allinace, as he outlined plans to launch what is known as the GlobalPittsburgh Network.
Cranville spoke to members of the Economic Club of Pittsburgh on Tuesday, outlining new initiatives by the Regional Alliance, an economic development organization that represents 10 counties in the region.
“We believe we are on the cutting edge with some new initiatives that will drive our region forward globally,” Cranville said at the Rivers Club in One Oxford Centre, Downtown.
The Rivers Club is the site for tonight’s GlobalPittsburgh Network meeting, hosted by the Regional Alliance and the World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh, scheduled to start at 5:30.
“We’re really coming together to meet each other for the first time to find out what everybody’s doing to showcase the international connections here,” Cranville said.
The Regional Alliance in October launched an Internet-based newsletter, called the GlobalPittsburgh News, that is distributed to about 10,000 people worldwide, he said. The Regional Alliance also is launching a new Web site, at www.globalpittsburgh.org, aimed at helping connect people with international business interests.
Cranville, who also is executive director of the British-American Business Council, outlined some of the benefits already realized from international investment here, and from area exports to foreign countries.
For example, the top five countries with the largest business investments in the region — Germany, Britain, Japan, France and Canada — operate a total of more than 300 locations and employ about 40,000 here, he said. And the average salary for employees of foreign-owned operations is $51,000 some 54 percent higher than the average salary of $33,000.
However, he also noted that the region lags behind other parts of the country in efforts to increase exports. He cited Department of Commerce figures that show 12,500 export-related jobs added here between 1993-1999, compared to 107,000 jobs in Seattle and 112,000 in Portland, Ore., where export growth was much greater.