February 2020 Newsletter
Pictured: WTC Utah President and CEO Miles Hansen with the Honorable Benedikt Wechsler, Consul General of Switzerland in San Francisco, as well as Franz Kolb with the Governor’s Office of Economic Development. Also pictured with WTC Utah Board members Missy Larsen, Val Hale and Lew Cramer. January 24, 2020.
It has been a busy month! Julia Pappas just returned from representing the State of Utah along with eight of Utah’s best outdoor companies at the ISPO Munich trade show. As this newsletter hits your inbox, Courtney Rae is with Franz Kolb visiting Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates to build the trade and investment program for Governor Gary R. Herbert’s April trade mission that will bring 30+ Utah companies to both countries. Meanwhile, Jim Porter is currently leading an aerospace delegation to the Singapore Airshow, the largest aerospace and defense event in Asia. In just a couple of weeks, Nicole Sherwood will lead eight Utah composite companies to JEC World in Paris. On the home front, Hannah Lowry has been busy hosting inbound delegations from Switzerland, Austria, Kazakhstan and China. And in January, David Carlebach led a group of Utah tech companies to the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas and is building out investment platforms and programing so that international investors can more readily connect with investment opportunities in Utah.
Elevating Utah’s global status is one of our main objectives, and as we take Utah companies to the world and bring global investors to Utah, we are fortunate to have such a solid foundation to grow our reputation upon.
Utah’s economic and cultural influence across the globe far exceeds expectations based on population size. This is a testament to the international outreach efforts conducted by local businesses and institutions, as well as to the awareness and commitment of the people of Utah. A simple yet striking example is that we are the most multilingual state in the nation, with residents who speak more than 130 languages. And while we make up less than 1% of the U.S. population, 20% of the Mandarin immersion language classes in the U.S. are right here in Utah.
This trend extends to the business sphere where one in five Utah jobs are tied to international business. Over 3,500 Utah companies across nearly 30 industries are currently exporting, and small and medium-sized companies make up 84% of those businesses. These businesses, including the likes of Kaddas Enterprises, Maxtec, DPS Skis, Bailey Farms and Gossners represent the next generation of Utah exporters.
While entirely landlocked, the state is an international travel and business hub. Utah is a top destination for international tourists from around the world, including Canada, China, Germany, the United Kingdom and many other countries. Our cultural influence reached to the very highest level on the international stage when Salt Lake City hosted the 2002 Winter Games, and we’re once again pursuing that spotlight as a finalist in the bid to host the 2030 Games. Our international travel network will become even more sophisticated with future developments, such as the self-funded $3.6 billion reconstruction of Salt Lake International Airport with new, state-of-the art terminals coming online later this year with non-stop flights to countries around the world.
It’s evident that there is an existing framework for Utah’s business and government leaders to utilize when engaging in international dialogue and partnership. The trick is navigating the numerous opportunities and paths to global prosperity. To help Utahns in their business pursuits, WTC Utah is an intermediary resource for everything international. Through our programming, we represent the State’s most comprehensive center for international education, outreach, trade missions, trade shows, grant-funding and investment for companies looking to go global.
As national and international disputes and trends develop, WTC Utah is prepared to offer Utah the best in community partnership to improve prosperity and economic prosperity for years to come.
Nu Skin International Spotlight
It took two decades of work before Nu Skin International could engage in direct sales in Mainland China, but the perseverance paid off for the Utah County-based company in 2007, when the Chinese government approved Nu Skin’s direct sales model. Greater China, including Mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan, has since grown to become Nu Skin’s hottest market, accounting for more than $1 billion in annual sales, according to the company’s latest public data.
Rich Hartvigsen, Nu Skin’s vice president of global government and industry affairs, told WTC Utah the company has more than 1.25 million customers in China. Mainland China accounted for more than $890 million in sales in 2018, or about one third of the company’s global sales.
Nu Skin’s next hottest markets include South Korea, accounting for $373 million in sales in 2018, followed by the Americas/Pacific region, which includes the U.S., Canada and Central and South America. The latter accounted for $385 million in sales in 2018.
“Growing globally has many challenges,” he noted, “but we learned as we went and took it one step at a time.” Canada was Nu Skin’s first foreign market. The company opened direct sales within this important U.S. trading partner in 1990 in what Hartvigsen described as a natural progression. “We didn’t have any language barriers and our laws are similar, so Canada was a logical first international step for us.”
A year later the company opened direct sales in Hong Kong. Today, the publicly traded company is in more than 50 foreign markets and has regional offices in Brussels, Singapore and China. “We also have smaller offices in about every market we serve and employ about 5,000 people across all of our offices,” he explained.
About 1,500 employees work out of Nu Skin’s Utah headquarters and the bulk of its product manufacturing takes place in the U.S., while the company handles some regional manufacturing in China.
India is one of the largest markets Nu Skin has yet to enter, but the company is currently considering possibilities to do business there. India was the 12th biggest export market for U.S. goods in 2018 and offers enormous opportunities for Nu Skin and other U.S. companies.
When considering international sales, Hartvigsen encouraged Utah companies to seek out reliable consulting groups, but also cited the vital support of partners like the U.S. Commercial Service, the International Chamber of Commerce, the American Chamber of Commerce in China, foreign expatriates, WTC Utah and the Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED).
“Utah has some amazing leaders that are concentrated on growing Utah’s international trade and can help connect Utah businesses with international help,” he continued. “Gov. Gary R. Herbert is a real champion of international business, and the World Trade Center Utah team, along with its Board of Directors and Executive Committee, are generous, well-connected, and so supportive.”
Hartvigsen said Nu Skin sees a foreign market as a permanent investment. Therefore, “we never try to “shortcut the system. We always want to be ethical and do things the right way,” he continued. “We feel being ethical is important for Nu Skin and also to project a good image for Utah.”
Nu Skin was founded in Provo in 1984 as a direct selling company that now distributes more than 1,000 premium-quality personal care and nutritional supplements products to a global marketplace. The company completed its IPO in November 1996, and established its humanitarian arm, the Nu Skin Force for Good Foundation, in 1998. The Foundation has granted millions of dollars to support children’s causes throughout the world, while the company’s Nourish the Children Initiative also produces millions of meals for hungry and malnourished children across the globe.
For more information about Nu Skin visit www.nuskin.com or connect with the company on social media.