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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