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.
Active foreign chambers of commerce and trade associations
With over 90 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Houston is home to a strong university system and a large supply of young talent shaping the region's future workforce. This year's State of Education features Reggie DesRoches, President of Rice University, who will…
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.
From energy and life sciences to manufacturing and aerospace, the Houston region offers a dynamic infrastructure to support a number of thriving, core industries.
Our nation’s space dreams launched at Rice University in 1962 and were realized in the years that followed at NASA’s Johnson Space Center, but Houston’s drive to explore did not stop at the moon. For more than 60…
Houston is home to a strong university system and a large supply of young talent shaping the region's future workforce. This year's State of Education features Reggie DesRoches, President of Rice University, who will discuss the institution’s work to position Rice as a global university and his recently-launched efforts to develop a strategic plan that will drive the vision for Rice over the next decade. A fireside chat conversation will follow the keynote presentation and will address the broader outlook for higher education as well as Rice's efforts around energy transition and developing programs to support students entering our region's diversifying industries.
Our nation’s space dreams launched at Rice University in 1962 and were realized in the years that followed at NASA’s Johnson Space Center, but Houston’s drive to explore did not stop at the moon. For more than 60 years Houston has bred some of the sharpest minds in aerospace charting a vibrant future for Houston centered around one of the world’s only truly urban commercial spaceports and a burgeoning commercial space sector. Key leaders will discuss the impact of the legislation establishing the Texas Space Commission and the opportunity to strengthen the state's proven leadership in aeronautics R&D, space commercialization, and space flight infrastructure. Speakers include: State Representative Dr. Greg Bonnen Mario Diaz, Aviation Director, City of Houston Vanessa Wyche, Director, Johnson Space Center
Registration closes on Monday, October 2 at noon! The Houston DiverseCity Summit is more than an event, it is an interactive experience catalyzing change, inspiring action and supporting companies across the Houston region in their collective efforts to create opportunity for all. Designed for business leaders and practitioners, this one-day symposium offers real-world insights on how to navigate the changing landscape around diversity, equity and inclusion. The case is clear. Businesses poised to flourish within our region understand how to deliver value while nurturing inclusivity and equity to harness the full spectrum of human potential. Houston DiverseCity Summit includes: 15+ speakers, thought leaders and experts offering diversity, equity and inclusion best practices and actionable insights applicable to all underrepresented groups Key findings and industry insights from the 2023 Houston Regional Equity & Inclusion Assessment Five interactive breakout sessions discussing emerging ideas and practical strategies to improve outcomes, enhance culture, ensure legal compliance and navigate organizational change Peer learning and networking to help participants connect and collaborate with regional leaders Luncheon conversation featuring thought leaders with real-world success stories Strategic insight into the evolving landscape around DEI and how it impacts the Houston business community Full Summit Agenda: Morning Plenary Presenting highlights of the 2023 Houston Regional Equity & Inclusion Assessment. Debby Asuquo, Principal, Boston Consulting Group LaTanya Flix, Senior Vice President of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Greater Houston Partnership Ilshat Haris, Managing Director and Partner, Boston Consulting Group Katie Pryor, Chief Development Officer, Senior Vice President of Member Engagement Greater Houston Partnership Breakout Sessions Inclusive Leadership: Pivotal Proficiency for Managers Inclusive leadership has emerged as a critical competency on both an individual and organizational level that improves workplace culture and delivers tangible business value. Explore the managerial skills and practices that enable leaders to deliver enhanced outcomes for their teams, companies, and the broader community. Moderator: Janet Huber, Senior Vice President & Director of Diversity Equity and Inclusion, BOK Financial Derek R. Avery, Ph.D., C. T. Bauer Chair of Inclusive Leadership in the Bauer College of Business at the University of Houston Enrica Ruggs, Associate Professor of Management, Associate Editor, Journal of Management, Associate Editor, Journal of Business and Psychology Carlecia Wright, Chief Culture & Engagement Officer, Lone Star College Creating Opportunity for All: Where to from here? Companies need actionable, comprehensive strategies to foster the recruitment, retention, and advancement of underrepresented groups. In the aftermath of the Supreme Court decision on affirmative action, how can organizations ensure their DEI practices are grounded in fair treatment? Examine how the new legal landscape impacts corporate decision-making, explore the factors for success in achieving measurable, scalable, and sustainable DEI, and how to recalibrate when needed. Moderator: Arianne Dowdell, Vice President and Chief Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Officer for Houston Methodist Roland Garcia, Shareholder, Greenberg Traurig Christina Jones, VP, HR Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, Shell USA Inc. Alveda Williams, Ph.D., Chief Inclusion Officer, Dow, Inc. The Evolution of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) and Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) As employee, investor, consumer, and supplier expectations evolve, the demand for transparency and accountability has only increased. Gain insight into the synergy between DEI, CSR, and ESG and learn the tools required for your team to manage the accompanying tough conversations, polarized opinions, and stakeholder demands. Opening Remarks: Toi B. Harris, M.D., Senior Vice President & Chief Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Officer, Memorial Hermann Moderator: David Feldman, Supply Chain Advisor – Supplier Diversity, Chevron Kristin Major, Chief Talent Officer, HPE Antonio Robinson, SVP - General Counsel, Secretary & Chief Compliance Officer, Carter's Kristin Starodub, Principal, Deloitte Consulting LLP How DEI Delivers Change Power When companies successfully implement DEI policies and practices, they also improve their ability to successfully implement and manage other types of organizational change. This newfound agility increases employee engagement, strengthens culture, and boosts financial performance. Explore why DEI helps companies become more adaptable and build their “change power” and how leaders can capitalize on this correlation. Moderators: Alex Noether, Expert Partner, Bain & Company, and Kevin Murphy, Expert Partner, Bain & Company Ashley Coombs, Director of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, Camden Jobi Martinez, Ph.D., Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer, Harris Health System Qiara Suggs, Senior Vice President and Chief HR Officer, TDECU DEI: The Engine of Competitive Enterprise Performance The business value of DEI encompasses not only a company’s impact in the community but also, crucially, its competitive performance. Identify the key drivers that power scalable progress, discover strategies that place suppliers at the core, and learn how to gain a competitive edge through robust and strategic DEI. Melissa Moye, Senior Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer, Enbridge Ingrid Robinson, President/CEO, Houston Minority Supplier Development Council Kelly Rooney, Chief HR and Diversity & Inclusion Officer, Waste Management Moderator: Suzanne Skipper, Managing Partner and Director, BCG Luncheon Speakers: Bob Harvey, President and CEO, Greater Houston Partnership Dr. Melanie Johnson, President and CEO, Collaborative for Children Katie Pryor, Chief Development Officer, Senior Vice President of Member Engagement, Greater Houston Partnership 2023 Regional Assessment Key Insights & Panel Moderator: LaTanya Flix, SVP, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Greater Houston Partnership Panel Conversation Organizational Change as a Driver for Value Creation and Positive Impact Business leaders today are navigating economic and demographic shifts that require a strong focus on bolstering inclusion and removing barriers for underrepresented groups. Our C-suite panel will share thoughts on how organizations can adapt to new challenges and opportunities and deliver meaningful change at scale. Dr. Marc L. Boom, President and CEO, Houston Methodist Antonio Robinson, SVP - General Counsel, Secretary & Chief Compliance Officer, Carter's Pamela Skaufel, Chief Procurement Officer and Vice President, ExxonMobil Join us for the only local event that highlights the collective action of the business community to reduce inequities, amplifies DEI thought leaders and offers data-informed strategies to catalyze organizational change. Sponsorship opportunities are filling quickly for this event! As a sponsor of this impactful event, your company will be highlighted among business and community leaders dedicated to DEI and aligned with unique content focusing on best practices, peer connection, and first-rate resources to help you mature DEI strategies for companies and organizations of all sizes. View the sponsorship opportunities for this event here. For more information on sponsorship, please contact Terry Leibowitz at email@example.com or 713-824-2403.
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.