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International Business

Houston is a thriving, international city with one of the nation's largest consular corps and business and cultural ties stretching to all corners of the world. The region's geographic location makes it easy to move both goods and people around the world efficiently. From the Port of Houston and the Houston Airport System to a host of multi-national companies doing business around the clock, Houston is well-positioned to connect your business to the world market. The Partnership is connected to a global network of economic development organizations promoting international trade and investment through the Houston World Trade Association.

Business Climate

Houston's economy is deeply tied to global trade and foreign investment, serving as the base of operations for the international oil and gas exploration and production industry as well as for many of the nation's largest international engineering and construction firms. The region has trading relationships with over 200 countries and is also a key center for international finance, leading the Southwest U.S. with 17 foreign banks from nine nations.

Since 2009, more than 500 foreign-owned firms have announced over 700 projects in metro Houston, stretching across 65 industries and hailing from nearly 40 countries.

80+

Foreign consulates

39

Active foreign chambers of commerce and trade associations

19

Sister-city relationships

Houston Consular Corps

With over 80 different nations represented, Houston is home to the third-largest consular corps in the United States. Learn more about the Houston Consular Corps and the countries that maintain an active diplomatic presence in our region.

Houston Consular Corps

International Cos. Grew Jobs by 21% in Texas Over 5-Year Period

Foreign companies operating in Texas grew jobs in the Lone Star State by 21% over five years. The report by the Global Business Alliance trade group shows foreign direct investment (FDI) accounts for more than 678,000 jobs in Texas, with roughly 30% of those in the manufacturing sector.

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A Visit from the President of Panama and the Impact of the Panama Canal

President Laurentino Cortizo came to Houston in July to celebrate the five year anniversary of the expansion of the Panama Canal and discuss opportunities to further expand trade between Houston and Asia and other global markets through Panama.

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Chair of International Investment and Trade Discusses Houston's Position as a Great Global City

As a thriving, global city, Houston’s ties stretch to all corners of the world. The region's geographic location makes it easy to move both goods and people around the world efficiently.

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Explore what makes Houston the right global partner for your business.

Foreign Trade

Houston is one of the largest international trading hubs in the Americas. In fact, more of the region's economy is tied to exports than any other metro in the U.S. The region has trading relationships with more than 200 countries and for 37 of those countries, combined trade (imports and exports) exceeds $1 billion annually.

Trade Data
Data & Publications

Global Houston

This publication examines Houston's place in the global market and provides insight into our major trading partners. Houston’s ties to the global economy have grown with the city, and in many ways, those ties propelled Houston’s growth. The region’s fortunes now rise and fall with those of the global economy, making it even more important to examine our ties to the global economy and what they portend for Houston’s future growth.

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Airports

The Houston Airport System ranks as one of the largest multi-airport systems in North America. George Bush Intercontinental Airport and William P. Hobby Airport offer direct passenger service to 118 domestic and 71 international destinations via 28 different airlines. HAS handled a total of 461,425 metric tons of air freight in 2017, with about half of that domestic and the other half international.

Airports Data
Economic Development

Rising in Houston: Projects to Look Forward to in 2024 and Beyond

4/8/24
Houston experienced significant economic resilience and growth ...
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Port

The region is home to a number of ports including the ports of Houston, Galveston, Freeport and Texas City. The Port of Houston ranks first in the nation in foreign tonnage and is the largest container port on the Gulf Coast.

Port Data
Economic Development

State of Education

The Greater Houston Partnership invites you to the State of Education on May 9 at the Royal Sonesta. The success of our region relies on a thriving public education system providing equitable…

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Taxes & Incentives

Texas and Houston understand the need for a stable, business-friendly and transparent tax structure. Texas is one of the few states without a personal, state or corporate income tax, which makes the cost of doing business very competitive. Houston's cost-effective tax structure makes it a choice location for any company looking to establish a presence or expand their current footprint.

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$176.9 billion

Houston's exports totaled $176.9 billion in '21.

Regional Profile

From energy and life sciences to manufacturing and aerospace, the Houston region offers a dynamic infrastructure to support a number of thriving, core industries.

Explore the Industries
International Business

Manufacturing, Logistics and Distribution Forum

Houston has the skilled workforce, expertise and logistics capabilities needed to manufacture, transport and distribute goods to customers across the county and around the world - positioning it as the ideal location…

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Meet Us at an Upcoming Event

Economic Development Event

State of Houston's Global Economy

Tickets now on sale! The Greater Houston Partnership invites you to the State of Houston's Global Economy on May 2, 2024. Houston's ties to the global economy have grown alongside the city, propelling its development. Now, the region's economic fortunes are closely tied to the global economy. Last year, Metro Houston created over 100,000 jobs, many linked to global trade, foreign investment and international travel. Looking to 2024, uncertainties arise with growing protectionism. Will Houston's global ties continue to fuel growth, or will they pose challenges to its trajectory? These questions lie at the heart of our exploration into the State of Houston's Global Economy. To delve deeper into these critical issues, we invite you to join us for an insightful discussion on May 2 at the Partnership Tower. Together, we will explore the complexities of Houston's global economy, dissect the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead and chart a course for sustainable growth in the years to come. Panel conversation speakers include: Kurt Heim, Vice President of Environmental Advancement, Daikin Comfort Moderator: George Y. Gonzalez, Partner, Haynes Boone, LLP Highlighting the day will be a presentation by the Partnership’s Chief Economist, Patrick Jankowski who will share his insights into the role global trade plays in the region’s growth. Attendees will receive a copy of Global Houston, 60 pages of insights into the role trade and investment play in the region’s economy.  Secure your sponsorship today! The State of Houston’s Global Economy offers an opportunity to highlight your company in front of regional and international business and civic leaders.  

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Additional Resources

For international companies looking to establish a presence in Houston and existing businesses in the region looking to expand their footprint abroad, there are a number of resources that can help. 

Need more information about Houston? Your dedicated team member can help:

 
Facilitate and foster key introductions
 
Assist in evaluating and applying for incentives
 
Identify potential business facilities
Gabby Aslaksen
Sr. Director
International Investment & Trade
E
gaslaksen@houston.org
P
713-844-3606
Looking for the rest of our team?
Partnership Staff
Have someone from our Economic Development Team contact you:
Executive Partners