Mayor Parker gave the opening speech at the Global Cities Initiative meeting hosted by the Greater Houston Partnership. The purpose of the kick-off today was to update and inform stakeholders about Houston’s participation in GCI and focus on how Houston could strengthen the shipping sector and increase exports and imports. Historically, energy has been the main focus, but there is an opportunity for Houston to be known as an import/export hub for both commercial and freight cargo. Since the port is not located near the main city, many Houstonian don’t even know of its existence there and how much business the port accounts for the city’s infrastructure. Mayor Parker also noted the importance of Houston’s manufacturing and engineering sectors, which account for 1/5 of the Houston economy, especially in light of the declining oil prices. She hoped that the GCI would be a great way to plan for continual domestic and international development for the city’s many strengths and opportunities.
The Global Cities Initiative (GCI) is a five-year joint project of the Brookings Institution and JPMorgan Chase which was launched to help business and civic leaders grow their metropolitan economies by strengthening international connections and competitiveness.