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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

Fulshear Lands as Second Fastest-Growing City in Nation

6/7/24
Fulshear, a bustling community in Fort Bend County, has seen si...
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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 the Port

The Port of Houston is renowned as a strategic gateway to the world and plays a vital role in facilitating international trade and driving economic growth. As the nation’s largest port in foreign tonnage, Port…

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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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$96.1 billion

Houston's imports totaled $96.1 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
Economic Development

Future of Global Energy Conference Presented by Shell USA, Inc.

The Greater Houston Partnership, Houston Energy Transition Initiative (HETI) and the Center for Houston's Future invite you to the annual Future of Global Energy presented by Shell USA, Inc. …

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Meet Us at an Upcoming Event

Economic Development

Future of Global Energy Conference Presented by Shell USA, Inc.

The Greater Houston Partnership, Houston Energy Transition Initiative (HETI) and the Center for Houston's Future invite you to the annual Future of Global Energy presented by Shell USA, Inc. As global energy demands increase, we face a critical question: How do we balance economic growth with the need to reduce carbon emissions? This conference is where industry leaders, policymakers, innovators, and academics gather to find solutions. Themes of this year's conference include:  Understanding Local and Global Energy Demand: What does growing demand mean for Houston's energy industry? Balancing Growth and Sustainability: How can we meet energy needs while reducing our carbon footprint? Investment Opportunities: What's holding back investment in scaling low-carbon energy solutions, and how can we change that? Houston's Role in Innovation: Discover how Houston is driving economic growth while pioneering new energy technologies. Leveraging Partnerships: Explore how collaboration across industries, academia, and government can accelerate progress. Conference activities include:  Morning plenary: Understanding the growing local and global energy demand and what that means for Houston Startup Innovation Expo showcasing Houston’s progress in technology development across all energy transition pathways Luncheon Keynote Poster competition showcasing the innovative ideas of college/university students for meeting the dual energy/climate challenge Breakout sessions covering themes like:  Where will the growing global demand for all sources of energy/power come from, and what does it mean for Houston as a world leader in energy production and distribution?  How can we continue to leverage collaboration and partnerships across government, industries, academia and others to respond to new and growing energy/power demand?   How can Houston continue to lead the way in developing and implementing new technologies and solutions for the dual challenge in a way that creates economic opportunity for all?  What does the investment landscape look like for scaling solutions – what is holding back progress?  Speakers and additional details to be announced.

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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