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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

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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

Economic Development

Rotterdam and Houston Strengthen Economic Relationship During Digital Trade Forum  

11/19/20
Officials in Houston and the European city of Rotterdam held a digital trade forum this week to strengthen economic ties between the two cities.  Rotterdam and Houston share a number of characteristics as energy hubs and port cities. The forum that took place November 16-18 focused around Energy 2.0 and the application of hydrogen, carbon capture and digital tech in the energy sector.  Rotterdam Partners, the economic development organization for the Dutch city, and the Greater Houston Partnership signed a memorandum of understanding on November 16 aimed at strengthening the economic relationship between the two regions. The Netherlands is currently Houston’s fifth largest international trading partner, averaging $9 billion in goods and services traded annually over the last decade.  “As the Energy Capital of the World, Houston is uniquely positioned to lead the transition to a cleaner, more efficient, and more sustainable lower carbon world,” said Bob Harvey, President and CEO of the Greater Houston Partnership. “The region is committed to working with our global partners on tackling this challenge head on and identifying solutions for the future. As a top investor to this region and an established leader in Energy 2.0 activity, the Netherlands is a natural partner for Houston.” Wilbert Lek, Director of Rotterdam Partners, said the collaboration offers Dutch and American companies the opportunity to expand networks and explore new business markets. “The many shared similarities between Rotterdam and Houston make the exchange of knowledge very important,” he said.  A longtime hub for the oil and gas industry, Houston is now focused on helping lead the global energy transition to a more sustainable, lower carbon future. This includes developing a robust Energy 2.0 ecosystem that includes renewable energy production and new energy tech. Energy transition is likewise a top priority in Rotterdam. During this digital trade forum, participants learned more about business opportunities in the energy transition in both Texas and the Netherlands, with a specific focus on hydrogen, carbon capture and digital tech. Dutch and American companies also had the chance to network with relevant discussion partners during pre-arranged matchmaking sessions. Officials from both Houston and Rotterdam cited the economic similiarities between the two cities as an opportunity for more focused collaboration and exchange of knowledge. Houston offers Dutch companies a prime position for doing business in the U.S. and across the Americas.  More than 30 Houston firms operate 47 subsidiary locations in the Netherlands, including BMC Software, Kinder Morgan, Paradigm and Superior Energy. Nearly 40 Dutch firms operate 96 subsidiaries in the Houston area, including Brunel International, LyondellBasell and Stork. Learn more about international business in Houston and see the latest Global Houston report that includes international trading relationships. 
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Economy

Port Houston Chairman Optimistic for the Essential Economic Driver

10/19/20
Houston’s position as an epicenter of international business and global trade is strengthened by our robust regional port system. Port Houston, the largest port by foreign tonnage in the nation, continues to show strong performance and contributions to the local and national economy. In recent months, however, shipping logistics and traffic have had to deal with their share of challenges brought on by the economic downturn. Ric Campo, chairman of Port Houston, spoke about how the port has had to adapt at the Partnership’s State of the Port event on October 13. Impacts Brought on by Pandemic, Energy Downturn  Port Houston continues to see solid traffic, but Campo said the port is not immune to COVID-19 and its economic impacts and has seen declines in volume in 2020. The chairman reported that as of the end of September, Port Houston is down 3% year-to-date in container traffic, adding that total tonnage along the Houston Ship Channel is down 5.5% year-to-date through July. Houston is familiar to the cyclical nature of the oil and gas industry. Though that is now coupled with a pandemic, Campo said Houston is sure to rebound, returning liquid bulk facilities and crude oil exports to pre-COVID volumes. “Port of Houston international tonnage is still 70% ahead of the next closest U.S. port," he said. “Even with a weak year in 2020, the greater Port of Houston will remain the number on U.S. port for international trade.”  An Emphasis on Community, Environmental Stewardship  “One thing we cannot ignore in 2020 is the topic of racial equity, diversity and inclusion. This is also part of Port Houston’s strategic plan and we believe strongly that we need to be part of the solution,” said Campo.  He pointed to one example of how Port Houston is addressing this through a recently commissioned study on the port’s small businesses and accessibility for minority-owned businesses. The report will help guide the system on how it can ensure suppliers and partners doing business at the port reflect the diversity of the region it serves.  Campo said Port Houston became the first port authority in the world to make the switch to 100% renewable electricity this year. The move is estimated to eliminate 25,000 tons of carbon dioxide from the system’s footprint each year, equating to $250,000 savings annually. Campo noted that this switch is truly a win-win for Port Houston and serves as a model for how other major port authorities can maintain operations while lessening impacts on the environment.  The chairman also discussed the port's efforts to engage in communities surrounding the ship channel through two-way communication opportunities, which open a dialogue to foster strong relationships with stakeholders and neighbors. Campo cited a partnership with Buffalo Bayou Partnership where the port has been working with the non-profit for decades to help keep the bayous clean and are embarking on the development of new green space on port property.   Work on Port Expansion Continues  Campo concluded by providing an update on perhaps the biggest initiatives in the systems recent history – the Houston Ship Channel Expansion known as Project 11, which is vital to maintaining the Houston Ship Channel as the economic powerhouse that it is today. “We know the urgency of this expansion. It’s crucial and the time to act is now,” Campo said. Port Houston is leading efforts to get the necessary federal appropriations to start the construction project sooner and to begin work in 2021. During the 116th Congress in 2019, both the House and Senate authorized Project 11 in their respective versions of the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) legislation. While congressional approval is pending, Port Houston continues to lead discussions with industry to find ways for industry to participate in half the cost of the channel expansion.  Campo ended his address on an optimistic note. “We are ready now and we will be ready then. Port Houston, and the Houston Ship Channel, have always been something you can count on during times of prosperity, times of recession, and now, times of pandemic. It will continue to bring economic value and jobs to our region today, tomorrow, and in the future.”   Click here for more information on Houston’s transportation and logistics industry. For more on Houston’s international business landscape, click here. 
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Related Events

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“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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