Pictured: WTC Utah Delegation at the Hong Kong Science and Technology Park, September 17, 2019.
Thank you for your continued engagement with World Trade Center Utah. Over the previous months, the WTC Utah team has worked closely with our Board of Directors to revamp our membership model to ensure that we as an organization are building partnerships with those businesses that are leading Utah’s international business engagement. We wanted to develop a clear value proposition for our members so that we can work together to realize that value, both for our members and for the State of Utah.
Please review our membership kit (Click Here). If you are already a member, we will implement these benefits over the coming weeks and months. Stay tuned! If you are not yet a member, please review this information and reach out so that we can discuss the many ways being a part of the WTC Utah member community will benefit your business.
Finally, I wanted to pass along the letter below from WTC Utah Chair Scott Anderson and myself:
As the President & CEO of World Trade Center Utah, I invite you to join the cadre of business, civic, and government leaders who are spearheading Utah’s global engagement by becoming a member of WTC Utah.
Governor Gary R. Herbert’s vision is that “Utah will lead the nation as the best performing economy and be recognized as a premier global business
destination.” To achieve this vision, WTC Utah leads Utah’s international business development and elevates Utah’s global status to promote prosperity and build economic resilience.
WTC Utah pursues this mission in tandem with all of Team Utah, including Utah businesses, state and local governments, civic organizations, industry
associations, chambers of commerce, and educational institutions. WTC Utah is proud to provide strategic leadership on international engagement to this
statewide network, elevating Team Utah’s work to a global level.
WTC Utah is also part of an international network of more than 300 World Trade Centers operating in 90 countries and supported by 15,000 WTC professionals that deliver reciprocal resources to WTC members. This trade and investment ecosystem is designed to make doing business around the world as easy as doing business across the street.
We invite you to partner with us in this highly collaborative effort. WTC Utah members shape how Utah engages with the rest of the world. Being a member of WTC Utah will create opportunities for you to lead our community at home and abroad, receive trade and investment services, expand your network, and increase your exposure.
Around the world, we are witnessing a shift in power away from gridlocked national and multilateral institutions, giving an edge to innovative states like Utah that effectively lead out on global issues. As WTC Utah takes Utah to the world and brings the world to Utah, we will drive economic growth and create avenues to expand our influence globally, influence that enables Utah businesses and organizations to increase prosperity at home and far beyond our borders as well. This is an unprecedented opportunity, and we aim to seize it. Join us as we move forward in this important work by becoming a member of WTC Utah.
International Expansion: Knowledge is Power
Establishing a business in a foreign country is a complicated process that can have big payoffs, but can also take far more time, money and effort than unprepared business owners may expect.
Johnson says first, business owners must clearly understand their product and the market they are approaching to determine if doing business internationally makes sense, and if so, how and where. Then, Bagnasacco says, the business will go through a multi-step process as it enters the market and matures. That process typically begins by setting up contracts.
Company owners should determine the most appropriate sales channels and put contracts in place to solidify those channels. Based on their product or service, is it best to:
- contract with a foreign distributor
- sell directly from the company
- enter into an agreement with a sales representative
- or set up a wholly-owned subsidiary?
Johnson says the answer depends on the company’s goals, but once determined, contracts must be put in place to protect the interests of the company, including intellectual property rights, and, just as importantly, to ensure a smooth exit if necessary. Business owners, with counsel, should also work through an allocation of risks within these relationships that accounts for pricing, dispute resolution and scope – what products or services are sold and in which markets.
Both attorneys say understanding cultural sensitivities, language and laws are paramount to success in foreign markets. Johnson highlights the example of the Chevrolet Nova. While an extremely successful car in the U.S., in Spanish, the word “Nova” means “no go,” making the car an unlikely candidate for success in Spanish-speaking markets.
The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) further exemplifies cultural differences between the U.S. and Europe in their approaches to data privacy. While the U.S. has taken an ad hoc approach, Europe is much more centralized, and, in 2018, enacted the GDPR which requires compliance from anyone doing business in Europe. Parsons was one of the first Utah law firms to address the GDPR. Its subsidiary, ParsonsBehle Lab, developed the GDPR Solution, software that empowers companies to become GDPR compliant quickly and at a reasonable cost. Bagnasacco says providing knowledge and education is central to Parsons’ client services.
As companies mature, Bagnasacco says, they may decide to establish offices in-country or execute joint ventures or collaborative agreements with foreign companies. During this stage, business owners should seek legal assistance with operational analyses to determine which markets are most conducive to successful operations from a business and tax perspective and which jurisdictions have more U.S. business-friendly laws. Companies may need assistance to vet distributors or partners to find the best matches. For this, they should seek counsel who has experience working in foreign markets.
Finally, mature companies that are well-established in foreign countries must focus on compliance work, which is imperative to ensure companies adhere to antibribery, privacy and data security laws as well as anti-terrorism and other regulations.
To be successful today, it’s not a question of “if,” but when companies operate internationally, Bagnasacco says. And, she says, international business benefits Utah’s economy in two ways. From a local standpoint, the successful international expansion of Utah companies translates into added revenue and quality jobs. Conversely, these success stories attract the attention of foreign investors and introduce Utah as an advantageous location to set up shop. Utah’s tax incentives, young, educated work force, prime location and quality transportation options make Utah a top choice for foreign investors. Johnson adds that due to the state’s predominant religion, many Utahns are bilingual and culturally sensitive, having lived abroad.
Parsons Behle & Latimer is uniquely qualified to assist companies interested in international expansion and GDPR compliance. Its attorneys have the knowledge and experience to assist clients in international expansion in every industry, including direct sales, manufacturing, technology, medical devices, consumer retail, mining and natural resources to name a few.
The firm’s partnerships and collaboration with the Governor’s Office of Economic Development, World Trade Center Utah, the World Trade Association and Terralex open doors and create added value for Parsons clients. Contact Parsons today to discuss how the firm can help your business go global. To contact Barbara Bagnasacco or Kevin Johnson, call (801) 532-1234, or send an email to email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Salt Lake City Public Library
Not Just a Pretty Face
The Salt Lake City Public Library is one of the top visitor destinations in Salt Lake City according to US News & World Report1 and Trip Advisor2.
But as a value proposition, the Salt Lake City Library and its seven neighborhood branches go way beyond beautiful buildings, books, and stacks. The Library provides support to local businesses from conference and meeting room spaces, to proprietary research tools, creative software, and access to Foundation Center data and expertise. For international visitors and new arrivals, the Library offers books in many languages as well as foreign newspapers and periodicals, and even a passport office with convenient evening and weekend hours .
Our Creative Lab provides tools, classes, and personal one-on-one support for small businesses and entrepreneurs using our professional sound booth, video cameras, 3D printers, large format printers, die-cutting machines, and sewing machines, along with professional software for design, recording, and mixing of music and video. For the arts community the library includes venues for performing, fine arts exhibits in all its branches, music recording space and mixing software, as well as space for public radio stations in our community.
Reflecting a strategic plan that is focused on fostering a community that is “healthy together” the Library offers rooftop yoga workouts, community gardens, beekeeping and honey-making workshops, and also provides space and administrative support for Volunteers of America social workers to assist in housing, healthcare and other needs of the less fortunate in our community. And, of course, children’s (and caregiver) programs abound – literacy, movement, coding, robotics, and STEM/STEAM programs are among a myriad of offerings that address the educational, social, and health needs for younger people from new born through college. And for adults we provide programs to get a fully accredited, online high school diploma that includes job readiness certifications. We also provide access to thousands of classes through Lynda.com / LinkedIn Learning, as well as access to thousands of ebooks and eaudiobooks available for easy download.
According to the Urban Institute’s report, “Making Cities Stronger: Public Libraries Contributions to Local Economic Development” public libraries build a community’s capacity for economic activity and resiliency. The Salt Lake City Public Library clearly demonstrates the vitally important role of libraries, which have continued to evolve from a passive, recreational reading and research institution to an active economic development agent, addressing such pressing urban issues as literacy, workforce training, small business vitality and community quality of life. While the Library may have much more to offer than you than it did 25 years ago (including the elimination of late fees), some things haven’t changed: your library is still free and open to everyone, and is committed to learning, community, and social connection in all that we do. If you haven’t been your Library lately, we invite you to stop in for a visit.
State-led International Trade Shows
Join World Trade Center Utah and represent the state of Utah abroad. See below for the 2020 schedule.
STEP funding is available for those who qualify. Click here to learn more.