July Newsletter

Pictured: WTC Utah President & CEO Miles Hansen addressing attendees at the Governor’s Networking Reception in conjunction with the 2019 Paris Air Show.

In June, WTC Utah joined Governor Gary R. Herbert, the Governor’s Office of Economic Development, and the Salt Lake Chamber to lead a delegation of Utah business and civic leaders for a trade mission to Europe, which featured stops in Switzerland, France and Italy. 

As an organizing partner in the trade mission–which included a total of 52 meetings along several concurrent tracks–we were thrilled to see delegation members establish valuable connections, build relationships and gain industry insights from many European companies and organizations. Because of the thorough pre-trade mission preparations, our delegates experienced unparalleled, exclusive access to companies, government agencies and officials in the markets we visited, thereby catalyzing market growth in these key European markets and creating opportunities for state leaders to learn best practices and develop partnerships that will benefit Utah.


Switzerland is home to three notable companies with Utah ties: Stadler Rail Group, UBS Bank and Partners Group. Stadler is a Swiss rail giant, while UBS is a multinational investment bank and Partners Group is a global private market investment manager. 

A manufacturer of passenger carrying trains and trams, Stadler has made Utah its American headquarters. Stadler’s 62-acre manufacturing site in Salt Lake City is critical to the fulfillment of its TEXRail contract with the State of Texas. Beginning this fall, Stadler will extend its apprenticeship program in Utah, partnering with Talent Ready, Salt Lake Community College and Utah Public Schools to play its part in creating the future labor force. 

UBS is Switzerland’s largest banking institution. The company has locations all over the world, including in Salt Lake City. We visited UBS with a desire to learn about its own apprenticeship program and discuss how it could be applied in Utah. Apprenticeship programs are a key component of the Swiss Vocational Education and Training System (VET) and are becoming more popular across the United States. Other states that Utah will join in implementing Swiss-style apprenticeship programs include Colorado, Kentucky, Nevada, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, Texas and Washington.

During these visits, the delegation learned how both of these apprenticeships are working in Switzerland and how they can be applied to Utah’s programs. “It was great to see all the wonderful things Stadler and UBS are doing with their apprenticeship programs,” said Val Hale, executive director of the Utah Governor’s Office of Economic Development. “We’ll benefit from best practices and be more prepared as we continue to expand Utah’s workforce apprenticeship programs.”

Established in 1996 in Baar, Switzerland, investment manager Partners Group has $83 billion in assets under management. One of Partners Group’s co-founders, Alfred Gantner, has an MBA from Brigham Young University’s Marriott School of Management. Our visit to Partners Group allowed us to showcase Utah as a premier state for foreign capital investment. Delegates enjoyed the opportunity to discuss public-private partnerships as well as specific actions Utah can take to increase the flow of international capital to the state in order to meet the infrastructure and social demands of Utah’s rapid growth. There are several significant developments planned in Utah — including Point of the Mountain, the Inland Port, and the Uintah Basin projects — that provide excellent opportunities for these partnerships to form between public and private entities. 


Utah’s exports to France have nearly doubled in the past five years. In 2018, Utah exported more than $215 million in goods to the country, with a surplus of $80 million coming from chemicals, $50 million from electrical equipment, $33 million from computer and electronic products and $27 million from transportation equipment.

Another key tie to France is the annual Paris Air Show, the largest aerospace event in the world. This year’s event hosted 2,381 exhibitors and 142,000 trade visitors from 158 countries, dominated mainly by companies and visitors from Europe, North America and Asia. We made the Paris Air Show a key part of our trade mission because it provided opportunities for Utah companies to streamline connections with the world’s largest aerospace and defense manufacturers and suppliers. Eight small and medium-sized Utah aerospace companies participated as exhibitors at the Paris Air Show, including ACT Aerospace, Borsight, ElectraFly, EP Systems, IMSAR, Kihomac, Optysis and RAM Company. These companies spent the week in Paris engaging with potential investors and clients to grow their businesses. Gov. Herbert and members of the Utah delegation met with 11 other aerospace companies. These included Boeing, L3, Parker Aerospace, Airbus and Northrop Grumman.

Headquartered in Gunnison, Utah, ACT Aerospace participated in a State of Utah trade mission delegation for the first time. “In addition to the governor, several other key lawmakers and economic development personnel attended the show to promote Utah’s aerospace industry,” said Bret Ashton who manages business development for ACT Aerospace. “The opportunity to participate in the trade mission and to exhibit at the Paris Air Show allowed us to be identified and compete globally. Our time in Europe resulted in many new promising international connections that will increase our global footprint.”

While in Paris, the delegation met with leaders of Station F, the world’s largest business incubator, to further facilitate the development of collaborative ties between Utah and France’s tech ecosystems. With over 3,000 workstations, Station F provides hundreds of startups with office space, management training and access to France’s network of venture capital funds and large corporations. Representatives of France’s venture capital community and trade agencies participated in the discussions, which focused on best practices for technology and startup incubation as well as identifying opportunities to connect Utah’s tech and venture capital ecosystem with France’s innovation industry. Insights gained from the Station F visit will aid in Utah’s ongoing effort to develop a new model for technology incubation.

We also introduced Utah’s life sciences companies to Ipsen, a global biopharmaceutical group based in France dedicated to improving lives through innovative medicines in oncology, neuroscience and rare diseases. While there, we learned about Ipsen’s global operations and discussed opportunities to bridge Utah’s life sciences industry with partners in France. Life sciences companies make significant economic impacts in Utah and this is an economic cluster area we definitely want to pursue. In 2017, Utah’s life sciences companies provided 42,831 full-time and part-time jobs. In-state spending by those companies and their employees support an additional 87,608 jobs in many industries.


Like France, Italy has one of the largest economies in the European Union and represents a healthy destination for American exports. Utah’s trade with Italy has moderately increased over the last five years. In 2018, Utah exported more than $162 million in goods to Italy, including more than $80 million in transportation equipment and $30 million in computers and electronic products.

Prominent Utah companies with investments in Italy include Autoliv, Nu Skin, Myriad Genetics, Qualtrics, Ancestry.com, Ultradent and PMI Foods. We also have a few Italian-owned companies in Utah, highlighted by Smith Sport Optics, owned by Italy’s Sefilo Group, and Enel, a multinational energy company and one of the world’s leading integrated electricity and gas operators. 

Enel’s U.S. renewable subsidiary, Enel Green Power North America, operates the 25-megawatt Cove Fort geothermal power plant in Beaver County, which was recently recognized for the innovative deployment of new maintenance software technology. Enel’s Cove Fort Plant uses large-scale electrical submersible pumps for the extraction of geothermal fluid, a cleaner and more efficient technology that ensures zero energy losses.  When we visited Enel, we wanted to understand why the company picked Cove Fort, Utah for one of its energy projects, explore further opportunities for Enel in Utah and see how Utah companies can enter Enel’s supply chain.  The delegation toured Enel Green Power’s global control room and Enel creative space, while Gov. Herbert and his energy advisor, Laura Nelson, met with Antonio Cammisecra, head of Enel Green Power.

“Enel Green Power’s collaborative partnership and investment in Utah’s dynamic and expanding renewable energy landscape continues to drive exciting opportunities for energy success locally, regionally and internationally,” said Laura Nelson, the governor’s energy advisor. “We were pleased to meet with Mr. Cammisecra to discuss next-generation opportunities for powering a sustainable future and the role Utah can once again play in accelerating solutions for an affordable, reliable and cleaner energy outcome.”

In our pre-trade mission preparations, the Italian aerospace and life sciences sectors were identified as two high potential sectors for Italian-Utah collaboration. Italian aerospace is the 7th largest aerospace industry in the world and supports more than 50,000 jobs, while Italy’s life sciences sector exports Euro 30 billion annually and supports 64,000 jobs.

While in Rome, we wanted to facilitate commercial and religious relations between the State of Utah and the Holy City. Vatican City, a city-state surrounded by Rome, is the headquarters of the Roman Catholic Church. It is home to the Pope and a trove of iconic art and architecture. Gov. Herbert had a private meeting with the Prime Minister of the Holy See, Cardinal Pietro Parolin who is an adviser to Pope Francis on issues related to diplomacy and international affairs. The governor also met with the Under-Secretary of State at the Italian Ministry of Economic Development, Mr. Andrea Cioffi. This meeting allowed for significant discussion on how to further economic ties between Italy and Utah.

We appreciate Gov. Herbert for leading this trade mission and also the engagement of so many Utah leaders with a vision for growing Utah’s status in the international marketplace. The Governor’s next international trade mission will take place this September.

Upcoming Events

July 12 UCCD Diplomacy Begins Here Regional Summit
July 29 Doing Business with India Seminar
Sept. 10-13 DSEI 2019
Sept. 12 BusinessH2O Water Innovation Summit
Sept. 13-21 Hong Kong and Japan Trade Mission
Sept. 30-Oct. 2 Discover Global Markets: Powering & Building The Middle East & Africa

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