Chamber connects Utah businesses to World Bank

Wednesday, December 11th, 2013

The Salt Lake Chamber is proud to serve as a private sector liaison for the World Bank Group. In that role, we can help Utah businesses play a role in a variety of projects to help developing countries. Recently, World Bank Group President Jim Kim discussed the role of his organization in building free enterprise systems across the globe.

For more information on how the Chamber’s relationship with the World Bank can help you business grow, contact Elizabeth Goryunova, interim president of the World Trade Center Utah.

Lew Cramer looks back at success of World Trade Center Utah

Wednesday, October 30th, 2013

For the past seven years the World Trade Center Utah has helped Utah businesses enter profitable global markets. In that time the state’s merchandise exports have tripled to over $19 billion annually.

This week, the one man who has served as President and CEO of WTCUtah announced he is stepping down.

Lew Cramer joins us to discuss his tenure at WTCUtah and the next chapter of his career.

Utah’s United Kingdom trade mission strengthens local economy

Thursday, July 18th, 2013

Editor’s Note: From the World Trade Center Utah. You can find the original article here

Governor Gary R. Herbert’s United Kingdom Trade Mission concluded July 10, strengthening relationships abroad with companies that grow jobs here at home. The Governor and Utah trade representatives met with leaders from Wells Fargo, Level39, Rio Tinto and other prominent corporations and capital investment groups.

“For Utah companies, larger markets abroad translate into more jobs at home. I’m proud of the work we’ve done these last few days in the United Kingdom” said the Governor. “With Utah’s strong U.K. ties, it is essential we not only maintain current relationships, but build new ones that open more doors in the substantial European market.”

The United Kingdom is the largest market in the world for Utah exports, totaling more than $6 billion in 2012. Zions Bank, Nu Skin, and Energy Solutions, in partnership with World Trade Center Utah and Office of Tourism, sponsored several of the business events in the U.K.

During the trade mission, the Governor met with London & Partners—The Official Promotional Organization for the city of London—where Olympic Officials reviewed the success of their recent games. During that meeting London’s Deputy Mayor, Sir Edward Lister, discussed “Vision 2020,” including future plans for London’s venues.

The Governor spoke at a luncheon of top-tier financial professionals in the United Kingdom’s Wells Fargo building. Governor Herbert’s message included a reflection on Utah’s productive workforce, AAA bond rating, low tax structure, stable regulatory environment and other business-friendly qualities.

Jim Johnston, Europe Middle East and Africa (EMEA) Regional President for Wells Fargo, commented that he not only enjoys conducting business in Utah; he loves Utah’s high quality of life, which includes skiing at Utah’s Alta ski resort.

The Governor also met with Rio Tinto CEO Sam Walsh and discussed Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in the State. Concluding the evening meeting, he went on to meet with over 200 key business people, educational leaders and friends of Utah during a reception hosted at Sir Paul Judge’s Private Residence. Sir Paul Judge founded the Judge Business School at University of Cambridge and is a good friend of Utah. Utah’s Office of Tourism was also recognized at the reception with approximately 80 guests in attendance.

The United Kingdom is the seventh largest economy in the world at $2.3 trillion, and is Utah’s largest market for exports. As business relationships are strengthened and cultivated through this trade mission, Utah exports to the United Kingdom are expected to rise.

April 2013 export numbers surprisingly positive

Wednesday, June 12th, 2013

In the April 2013 Export report from World Trade Center Utah, the Beehive State saw more positive numbers than originally expected.

Despite dropping $31 million in exports from March to April, Utah is still giving a strong export showing. Total exports from Utah in April 2013 totaled more than $1.5 billion, which is quite a bit higher than last April’s total of $1.2 billion. This is the first month this year that came out ahead of its counterpart in 2012.

WTC Utah report noted that the Foreign Trade Division of the U.S. Census Bureau released revised final figures for 2012 that indicated a rise in Utah’s total from $19.11 billion to $19.25 billion.

“I wish it had stayed lower, because it’s going to take a lot of miracles to beat that this year,” said Lew Cramer, president and CEO of WTC Utah. “However, Utah does specialize in exporting miracles.”

Based on data from the U.S. Census Bureau, 60 percent of Utah’s exports were of primary metals in April, or approx. $922 million. There was some uncertainty surrounding primary metal export numbers because of the recent landslide at Kennecott, so the strong number was good news. It nearly matched the March 2013 figures for the industry, just shy of a $7 million difference.

What Utah saw a jump in exporting is transportation equipment (increase of 28 percent since April 2012) and computers and electronics (increase of 20.87 since April 2012). In April, the top five industries exporting from Utah include primary metals, computers and electronics, and chemicals.

Utah’s exports mostly head to Hong Kong, United Kingdom, China, Canada and Thailand. From April 2012 to April 2013, China saw the greatest jump in Utah exports from $174 million to $608 million (increase of 248 percent).

The number of positive revelations that came from the April 2013 Exports report are solid indicators that 2013 will continue Utah’s trend of being a strong and growing export state.

New international partnerships for the Chamber

Thursday, July 12th, 2012

The Salt Lake Chamber has formalized new alliances with the Ural Chamber of Commerce & Industry of Russia and the Sana’a Chamber of Commerce & Industry of the Republic of Yemen. The chambers will actively promote business exchange and cooperation.

Through collaborative efforts, the chambers will strive to promote a global outlook and international understanding to improve relationships, and boost international exchange and business activities that are mutually beneficial.

The Salt Lake Chamber encourages Utah businesses to participate in the global marketplace. Over the past five years, Utah was the only state to double international merchandise exports. In the first quarter of 2012 alone, exports increased 22 percent from the year before, totaling $5.17 billion.

With the help of  World Trade Center Utah and the Chamber, businesses can learn how to engage in international exports. Utah exports mean more high paying Utah jobs.

Russian Business Mission
The World Trade Center Utah will help Utah businesses build relationships with businesses in Russia. WTCU is leading a business mission from Sept. 22 – 27 to uncover business opportunities for Utah-based companies. Businesses that take advantage of this opportunity will build relationships with key business and government figures in Russia, expand their business network and gain a better understanding of business practices in Russia.

The deadline to register for this mission is Aug. 3. For more information, see this flyer or contact Richard at or 801.532.8080.

On July 19, WTCU will also be hosting a “Doing Business in Russia” seminar. It will take place in the World Trade Center building (60 East South Temple, 3rd floor) starting at 8 a.m.

Photo from maistora on Flickr.

WTC at City Creek gives Utah a global identity

Wednesday, May 30th, 2012

One of the Chamber’s strategic partners now has a new home.

The World Trade Center Utah (WTCU), which had offices in the Chamber for several years, officially has a place of its own, the Eagle Gate Tower which was re-named World Trade Center at City Creek. The new offices will be the home of WTCU, the Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED), Utah Science Technology and Research initiative (USTAR) and the Office of Energy Development (OED).

“This new marquee name and the ‘Team Utah’ tenants in this building add global business identity and expertise to our urban community,” said Mark Gibbons, president of City Creek Reserve, Inc.

WTCU President and CEO Lew Cramer says locating all tour entities in the same building will improve collaboration and enable them to better serve Utah’s businesses who are seeking to grow their international presence.

“Our co-location with USTAR, WTC Utah and OED is an opportunity that demonstrates Governor Herbert and the State legislature’s commitment to a forward-looking economic development plan,” said Spencer Eccles, executive director of GOED. “Thanks to that commitment, and some truly inspired collaboration, the private-public partnership of ‘Team Utah’ in the newly renamed World Trade Center at City Creek will continue to support the private sector that is the engine powering Utah’s globally renowned and business friendly environment.”

Thanks to this kind of pro-business environment, Utah consistently ranks high in national and international ratings when it comes to the economy, business and management with awards like Forbes’ “Best State for Business and Careers” and “Most Fiscally Fit State.”


Utah’s rising exports and the need for more FTAs

Tuesday, May 15th, 2012

The constant bright spot in a tough economy, Utah exports continued to grow through the first part of 2012.

Utah’s first quarter exports (Jan-March 2012) totaled $5.17 billion—a 22 percent increase from the first quarter of 2011, which saw $4.25 billion in exports.

World Trade Center Utah President and CEO Lew Cramer says this growth is heading forward at a “blistering pace,” setting Utah up to have over $20 billion in total exports for the whole year.

International exports are a big component in the Utah Jobs Agenda, a 10-point plan to create 150,000 jobs in five years. And those billions of dollars in exports translate into more support for both new and existing Utah jobs.

Another bit of good news today is that a Free Trade Agreement between the U.S. and Colombia has now come to fruition. This agreement is expected to increase U.S. GDP by nearly $2.5 billion and U.S. merchandise exports by $1.1 billion.

Free Enterprise from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce notes that “more than 95 percent of the world’s consumers live outside our borders and their demand for American goods and services is growing every day.”

This is why it’s important for all businesses to look into exports and how they can optimize their efforts outside the boundaries of the U.S. You may not think your business has anything worth exporting, but odds are, it does.

The issue that remains is that exports need a monumental kick in order for the U.S. to really see growth and more jobs from it. It’s not just large businesses that can export—any business can become involved, even small firms. If your business needs help entering profitable global markets, contact the World Trade Center Utah.

The world’s travelers bring jobs, growth to American economy

Wednesday, May 9th, 2012

By Thomas J. Donohue, President and CEO, U.S. Chamber of Commerce

May is World Trade Month. As we highlight the vast potential for jobs and growth through global commerce, we must not overlook one of America’s most valuable exports: foreign visitors to the United States.

Let me explain: When foreign visitors spend their money here, it’s counted as an export. What’s more, America’s trade relationships and economic prosperity depend on the ability of international businesspeople to travel to the United States to visit our manufacturing operations, inspect the products and services they are purchasing, and negotiate contracts.

The travel and tourism industry currently employs 7.4 million Americans and generates more than $700 billion in revenue. But those numbers could be a lot higher.

We’re currently losing travel-related jobs and squandering revenue because we’re not laying out the welcome mat for business travelers and tourists. Over the past 10 years, visitors have too often been met with travel hassles that have ultimately driven down the U.S. share of the international travel market.

Consider what’s at stake: If we could restore the U.S. share of the global overseas travel market to its 2000 level, we would create 1.3 million new jobs and generate $860 billion in economic activity—without costing taxpayers a dime.

So how do we promote the United States as a premier destination and draw business and leisure travelers to our shores? We need to pave the way for more of the world’s visitors to come to America hassle free without jeopardizing national security. And we need to eliminate bureaucratic barriers to inbound travel, such as visa processing delays and endless wait times at customs.

The U.S. Chamber is pushing for the Jobs Originating from Launching Travel (JOLT) Act, a new bill that could dramatically increase international travel to the United States. The legislation would expand the Visa Waiver Program, offer lower application fees during off-peak seasons, allow travelers to expedite visa applications for a fee, and encourage timely and predictable application reviews.

In testimony before Congress in March, I pledged the strong support of the business community for the JOLT Act and highlighted the economic imperative of adopting these reforms. Our lawmakers need to move forward with this commonsense legislation.

Let’s make sure that when tourists are ready to travel and businesspeople are ready to make deals, they come to the greatest travel destination of them all—the United States of America. Let’s take the buying power of the vast majority of the world’s customers and put it to work in our own economy.

Trade mission to Vietnam part of Utah export strategy

Wednesday, April 11th, 2012

International business is booming in Utah. Last year, our merchandise exports set a all-time record at nearly $19 billion. Utah has benefited from an aggressive strategy to help businesses enter profitable global markets, and by reaching out to potential trade partners with delegation visits.

Lew Cramer, president and CEO of World Trade Center Utah recently returned from a trade mission to Vietnam. He sat down to discuss Utah exports, how we can increase them and Utah’s growing connection to Asia.

Utah leads in exports, World Bank helping

Tuesday, March 6th, 2012

Yet another hint that Utah’s economy is improving—the Beehive State is once again a leader in merchandise export growth in the U.S. with 39.5 percent growth from 2010 to 2011. This is the third year in a row that Utah has topped the list when it comes to growth in exports.

In 2010, President Barack Obama announced a National Export initiative to double exports in five years by helping farmers and small businesses increase and reform their exports. The anticipated impact of this initiative is the creation and support of two million jobs nationwide.

The Salt Lake Chamber outlined a 10-point plan called the Utah Jobs Agenda in January of 2011 emphasizing the importance of exports among other things like education.

Now Utah is leading the U.S. in merchandise export growth and is nearly halfway to Pres. Obama’s goal in only two years. In 2010, Utah had $13.8 billion in exports and that rose to an impressive $18.93 billion in 2011. Over the past five years alone, there’s been an overall 142.3 percent growth from Utah merchandise exports. Considering the economic fall America experienced during that time, this growth is rather remarkable.

World Trade Center Executive Vice President and Chief of Operations Elizabeth Goryunova says Utah’s export growth increase can be attributed to “a rise in awareness to what we are trying to achieve,” which is to increase the number of companies that aren’t exporting to establish international connections to start exporting goods. Goryunova says another goal is to “expand the market of the one percent of companies that do export.”

The World Bank issues grants and loans to developing countries for significant projects—coordinating with their governments to decide the best way to pursue them. The United States is a big shareholder in the World Bank and is a big contributor alongside other giants like Japan.

When the World Bank and the individual government of a country seeking assistance decide on a course of action, the World Bank calls on resources and companies of sponsors to contribute to the cause—including those in the U.S. This is where our exports get a big boost.

While Utah’s earnings from exports don’t compare to the hundreds of billions of dollars a seaside state does, Utah is experiencing export growth, while those ports have seen declines in revenue.

A big contributor to Utah’s success is the rising price of primary metals, like gold and copper. Because of this, our export total increases even though we may not necessarily be exporting more goods. Primary metals attributed to 64 percent of Utah’s exports in 2011—an increase of about 15 percent from 2010.

So what does this export growth mean? More jobs. The rise in merchandise exports increase production in Utah, creating more jobs that start the ripple effect that boosts the local economy. For every $90,000 in exports, one job is created. For example, with the $5 billion dollar boost in exports, Utah created 55,000 jobs more than it did in 2010.

By moving Utah businesses into profitable global markets, and by helping them secure World Bank funded projects, Utah exports can continue to increase at record levels. Chamber members interested in learning more about World Bank funded projects can contact the Chamber for more information.