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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.

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International Business

How Houston Continues to Attract International Businesses to the Region

Renowned for its global connectivity, skilled workforce and affordability, Houston has emerged as a magnet for international businesses aiming to expand their operations and capitalize on the city's unique advantages. With close proximity to major ports, including the Port of Houston, and access to international flights via George Bush Intercontinental Airport, which was recently ranked among the top 10 best airports in the nation, Houston can provide critical resources that other major metros can’t, making it a premier location for international businesses. In 2022, Houston’s top trading partners included Mexico, China, South Korea, Brazil and the Netherlands, according to the Partnership’s Global Houston report.  Houston’s rich cultural tapestry also contributes to its global appeal. The Bayou City is one of the most diverse cities in the nation, where one-in-four residents are foreign born. A testament to the city’s ever-growing diversity, Houston’s foreign-born population grew by 370,000 residents over the last decade, with international migration accounting for one-third of those gains, according to the Partnership’s monthly report.  Houston is also home to the Texas Medical Center (TMC), which boasts world-class institutions and facilities and serves as a catalyst for cutting-edge research and development in the region, adding to the city’s allure. In October, TMC opened its TMC3 Collaborative Building, the first phase of its groundbreaking 37-acre campus dubbed Helix Park, further attracting businesses to curate and grow their ideas at the heart of the largest life science destination in the world.   Other significant infrastructure includes the Houston Spaceport, which is anchored by many leading aerospace companies including Axiom Space, Collins Aerospace and Intuitive Machines.  Houston was recently crowned the No.1 most attractive U.S. city for foreign multinationals to do business in the annual Financial Times-Nikkei ranking.  “This ranking is a testament to Houston’s position as a thriving global city with a diverse mix of industries that are attractive to international investment,” said Partnership President and CEO Bob Harvey in a statement. “Houston has long been a global gateway and is seen as having an inviting business climate. Rankings like this bolster our case as we continue to attract companies from around the world.” Known as Houston’s front door, the Partnership actively works to forge powerful business connections across the globe. In Q3 2023, the Partnership played a crucial role in driving three international companies to Houston, including Turkey-based Aksa Power Generation, a portable industrial generator manufacturer, Cimsa, a Turkish cement manufacturer and Konec, a South Korean auto parts manufacturer.  Additionally, Belgium-based John Cockerill Hydrogen, a steering committee member of the Partnership’s Houston Energy Transition Initiative, recently announced its expansion to the Houston-area with a new hydrogen manufacturing facility in Baytown.  Partnership member Sino Biological, a leading biotech company headquartered in Beijing, China, also announced the opening of its Center for Bioprocessing at Levit Green, Houston’s 53-acre master-planned life sciences district. Learn more about what makes Houston a global city. 
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Economic Development

Houston Emerging as a Premier International Sports Destination

Houston, also known as the Bayou City, Space City and the Energy Capital of the World, might be adding another title as it is rapidly gaining recognition as an international sports city. After years of bidding for and hosting small-scale events, the Houston region has successfully secured and will host a series of major sporting events in the upcoming years, including the 2024 College Football Playoff National Championship, 2026 FIFA World Cup, and the 2025, 2027 and 2031 AAU Junior Olympic Games. Houston also recently hosted the NCAA Final Four, LPGA Chevron Championship in The Woodlands, and has been announced as a host city for several 2023 CONCACAF Gold Cup matches.  According to a recent report from OLBG, Houston is the sixth most valuable sports city in the U.S. in terms of revenue generated from NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL, and MLS teams and predicted revenue growth, but it is projected to move into the top five by 2030. Speculations abound that Houston may soon welcome an NHL team, as reported by the Houston Chronicle, which could further bolster its rankings.  Despite Houston's wins, the city was ranked No. 29 in a recent evaluation of the 50 best cities for sports business by the Sports Business Journal, behind Dallas, Austin, and San Antonio. Criticisms revolved around Houston's sprawling nature and lack of walkability. Another concern raised was the relative freshness of its venues, with three of its major stadiums—NRG Stadium, Minute Maid Park, and Toyota Center— having been constructed in the early 2000s. Shell Energy Stadium is the newest major stadium, opened in 2012.   Beyond the 350-acre complex housing NRG Center, NRG Arena and the Astrodome, the absence of appealing establishments such as restaurants, bars, and hotels for visitors detracts from Houston's identity as a sports city, according to Houston First CEO Michael Heckman.   To address this, Houston First and organizations like the South Main Alliance's Main Street Coalition are actively exploring comprehensive plans to develop the area and attract commercial developers to this currently underdeveloped region.   Click to expand The Houston Astros recently announced plans for an entertainment district adjacent to Minute Maid Park that will feature a 17-story hotel, 60,000 square feet of retail space for restaurants and shops and a three-level gathering area for fans to watch Astros games and other major sporting events on a massive outdoor screen. The venue will also host live music performances. The Astros expect to break ground in November 2024. NRG Park also has plans to revamp its complex over several years while Minute Maid Park has recently completed upgrades to its video display technology as part of a new partnership with Samsung, in addition to its 8,500-square-foot team store constructed at center field and new food options.  In an interview with the Houston Business Journal, Heckman stated that “the trend [for cities] is to create these entertainment districts around the sports and entertainment complexes. For us, I think it's a phenomenal opportunity to learn lessons from the others that have done this around the country, but also to make it uniquely Houston.”  While there are currently no definite plans, NRG Park CEO and Executive Director Ryan Walsh believes that the area around the complex is “really ripe for development. Give it five years... I think you're gonna see a lot of change in this area.”  Learn more about living in Houston.
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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
Marjorie Meier
Director, Programs & Engagement
Events & Programs
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