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How you can benefit

  • Expand your international connections and professional network

  • Attend quarterly events focused on international business and trade

  • Hear from distinguished speakers on global topics

  • Receive Partnership-produced data and publications closely monitoring Houston's global economy

  • Grow as a global business thought leader for your organization

To join this program, opt in to our email list.

Actively Involved

In the last year, Business Beyond Borders has hosted poignant conversations around topics such as "NAFTA & the Americas" and "Global Trade Tensions" featuring international experts in their fields. Other topics have included a look at Brexit and Houston's growing ties with Latin America.
Attorney Lawrence Hanson presented on the complications surrounding Brexit in spring 2019.

Related News

COVID-19

The Reshoring Movement and its Impact on U.S. Manufacturing

2/24/21
The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed many vulnerabilities for American business, from the critical importance of remote connectivity to the risks of open office design. But for manufacturers and others dependent on the global supply chain, the pandemic brought their exposure into stark focus when parts of the chain broke down last spring. Companies dependent on materials and supplies from China and other nations were left waiting weeks or more for those products in many cases.  Acknowledging the risk, a number of U.S. companies are looking to “reshore” parts of their own operations and seek out domestic producers for critical supplies. These businesses hope to strengthen their supply chain by reducing its length.  Experts came together to discuss the reshoring phenomenon and the advantages to businesses looking to supply the federal government in a special Business Beyond Borders presentation this week hosted by the Partnership. The conversation resumes with a Part 2 on Reshoring on March 2. Register here. Dr. Sanju Patro, Director of TMAC Gulf Coast and Harry Moser, President of Reshoring Initiative, talked about the growing movement toward domestic production.  The Buy American Act requires that the federal government buy products made in the U.S. from materials mostly supplied domestically. But loopholes and ambiguity surrounding the law often make it easy to circumvent. Patro said a recent executive order from the Biden Administration seeks to close those loopholes and directs federal agencies to review their procurement process. That’s creating renewed incentive for American companies to source and manufacture domestically, which could boost employment.  “As more and more U.S. companies work to reshore manufacturing, there will be greater demand for skilled labor,” Patro said.  Moser said the pandemic has brought to light many of the hidden costs of outsourcing. While many companies source and manufacture overseas, they aren’t factoring in the “total cost of ownership,” or the additional costs tied to the supply chain.  Over the last 20 years, the value of U.S. manufacturing has plateaued due in large part to offshoring. “We are consuming more goods than ever before, but we simply aren’t producing them anymore,” said Moser.  Moser offered an example many have become familiar with during the pandemic. Disposable masks are largely manufactured overseas and at the beginning of the pandemic, these were in short supply due to the breakdown in the supply chain. According to Moser, if mask making had been done domestically it would have created 180,000 additional manufacturing jobs.  To watch the full program Business Beyond Borders: COVID-19 Supply Chain Wake-Up Calls for Reshoring Now, Partnership members can log into the membership portal via the link at the top right of the page. 
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International Business

Entrepreneurs Aim to Bring Guatemala and Houston Closer Together

2/5/21
When Mike Sallés came to visit Houston from Guatemala in 2019, he and his wife, Erika, were preparing to launch their small business. Grupo Sallés would connect products and services from Guatemalan entrepreneurs to businesses throughout the entire U.S. But Mike's time in Houston prompted the entrepreneurs to rethink their strategy.  “I have family that lives in Houston,” said Mike. “We have seen their life’s work, their company’s growth, all that they have accomplished through the years and we admire them very much. So I bought an airplane ticket, flew over to stay with them for a week on November 2019 and during that week I met some contacts, but most importantly, I visited by the Greater Houston Partnership. It was a very eye-opening experience! We soon realized that Houston was the place to start our company and promote business between our countries.” The couple decided to narrow their focus to the Houston region instead. Mike and Erika officially launched Grupo Sallés, a Partnership member company, nearly a year ago. Their clients include information technology outsourcing companies that offer services from websites to mobile apps, medical manufacturers who make uniforms and accessories, and a low-cost high-quality domestic water filter manufacturer who’s seeking to open shop in Houston. Erika said connecting their clients to Houston made a lot of sense. “The size of the market, the various industries that demand B2B services, and most of all the nearly 40% Hispanic population that Houston has,” said Erika. “We are convinced that  Guatemalans [can] offer their products and services in Houston, so they can find new and better business opportunities. Our clients can offer Houstonians high quality products and services at lower costs, and other competitive advantages that Guatemala offers Houston, such as geographic proximity, travel connectivity (we have daily direct flights), minimum time zone difference, and more fluent English and Spanish communication than most providers in other regions of the world can offer.” As part of their work with these entrepreneurs, Grupo Sallés also helps clients navigate the cultural differences between Guatemala and the United States. "We believe that mostly it comes down to a matter of understanding and communication, building trust," said Erika. "The language is the most common one, but in a sense, the nearly 40% Hispanic population makes it not that difficult for us to help our customers with. The other difference is how you network. In our country, being a smaller country, it’s much easier to reach someone through contacts and referrals. So you have to develop much more efficient networking and communication skills." With about 1,500 miles between Houston and Guatemala, the Bayou City has strong cultural and trade ties with the Central American country. Nearly one in four Houstonians was born outside of the U.S. and Guatemala is the third-largest group from Central America accounting for these residents. Houston’s trade with the country in 2019 was valued at $2.1 billion, a 10% increase from 2018, making the country Houston’s No. 30 global trading partner.  “We are convinced that it’s very important to focus on Houston. This will make us experts in promoting Houston and its businesses, learning more about their needs, and it very much facilitates the creation of our business network that we can later introduce our clients to,” said Erika. Explore what makes Houston the right global partner for your business here. Learn more about Houston's global trade partners from the 2020 Global Houston report. To learn more about membership with the Greater Houston Partnership click here, or contact membership@houston.org.
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Related Events

This program and its benefits are exclusive to Partnership members. Learn more about becoming a member company today.

“Lonza is committed to building up our cell-and-gene-therapy capabilities in Pearland, which is a growing center for life sciences. The Houston area, supported by a number of world-class scientific institutions, is an important location for Lonza to continue to develop novel therapies offering the hope of improving the lives of patients all over the world.”


Mark Funk
Chief Operating Officer, Lonza

Ready to become a part of the Business Beyond Borders program?

  • Expand your international connections and professional network
     
  • Attend events focused on international business and trade
     
  • Hear from distinguished speakers on global topics  
     
  • Receive Partnership-produced data and publications closely monitoring Houston's global economy
     
  • Grow as a global business thought leader for your organization
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Partnership Staff
Executive Partners