By Derek Miller, President/CEO of World Trade Center Utah.
This article was originally published in the Spring 2017 edition of Silicon Slopes Magazine.
Trade has been a hot topic over the last several months. Whether the conversations have been about trade agreements, Brexit, or national policy changes, trade has been front and center on our TV screens and news outlets.
While the pros and cons of trade and free markets are being debated, it is important to note that trade is not killing Utah. In fact, Utah is killing it when it comes to trade.
International business is an important part of the state’s economy. In 2015, Utah exported $13.3 billion worth of goods and services, a 9 percent increase from the previous year. Approximately 3,540 companies export from Utah, and 22 percent of jobs are supported by international business.
Even more impressive is the fact that Utah ranks fourth for export growth. Imagine that, a small landlocked state’s exports are growing at a faster rate than 46 other states.
None of this success would be possible without strategic international expansion from Utah companies both large and small. The IT and tech industry have helped propel the state forward in international business and increased the notability of the state by providing stellar products to customers around the world.
The mission of World Trade Center Utah (WTC Utah) is to help Utah companies think, act and succeed globally. This is accomplished through three objectives:
- Motivate and educate Utah businesses to expand their global presence
- Build capacity of Utah businesses for international trade
- Expand global network of Utah businesses through trade missions and networking with foreign trade officials
In an ever-globalized world, looking beyond state and national borders is key to staying competitive. Especially considering 95 percent of the world’s consumers live outside of the US, 85 percent of economic growth comes from outside of the US, and 70 percent of the world’s purchasing power is located outside of the US.
WTC Utah offers consultations and market research to companies looking to go global free of charge. This is made possible thanks to generous support from members and the state legislature. You can connect with WTC Utah’s trade services team to get started on research that will help you identify markets to expand into.
To stay updated on all things international business related happening in the state, sign up for the WTC Utah newsletter at www.wtcutah.com. This resource will let you know when ambassadors and consuls general will be visiting, inform you about educational seminars and keep you in the loop about current affairs that might impact your business.
Another resource WTC Utah offers worth mentioning is the Utah Export Acceleration Grant. New this year thanks to a $200,000 contribution from JPMorgan Chase & Co., this grant provides Utah companies with funding to help offset the costs associated with global expansion.
Applications are available online at www.wtcutah.com. Companies are eligible to receive up to $10,000 in funding depending on specific needs related to their international expansion. A few examples of services/resources that would qualify for funding include legal and consulting work, money to conduct international market research, help covering the cost of translation services or funding to attend a trade mission.
The opportunities for global expansion have never been more plentiful. Trade is good for Utah, and companies in Utah are well positioned to succeed in global markets. WTC Utah looks forward to helping your company achieve its export goals!