January 19, 2017      wtcutah.com   Facebook Twitter   LinkedIn   Instagram

Helping Utah Companies Think, Act and Succeed Globally

CEO Derek Miller

President's Message
Derek B. Miller, World Trade Center Utah

We just returned from St. George, where we participated in the St. George Area Economic Development Summit, formerly called "What's Up Down South." This was the 21st year of the summit, which stands out as Southern Utah's largest business gathering.

Exciting things are happening in Southern Utah. Not long ago WalletHub ranked St. George No. 7 among the fastest growing small cities in the country. The region is booming with both business and population growth.

We were grateful for the opportunity to participate in a panel discussion during the summit that focused on the potential international economic impacts of the Trump administration. We also enjoyed co-hosting a reception the evening before the conference in partnership with our friends at the Economic Development Corporation of Utah (EDCUtah). The reception provided a wonderful opportunity to share information about WTC Utah, exporting and Utah's growing status as a global business destination.

We feel a strong connection with rural Utah and appreciate opportunities like the summit to help Utah businesses across the state think, act and succeed globally.

Happy exporting!

Going Global: WTC Utah CEO Derek Miller Receives Economic Development Award

WTC Utah President and CEO Derek Miller has been honored with the Nick Rose Award for Leadership in Economic Development in the Private Sector. The award came Jan. 10 during the annual meeting of the Economic Development Corporation of Utah (EDCUtah) at Thanksgiving Point.

Miller was one of three leaders recognized with economic development awards. Provo Mayor John Curtis received the Thayne Robson Award for Leadership in Economic Development in the public sector, and City Creek Reserve President Mark Gibbons received the Cornerstone in Economic Development Award on behalf of City Creek Center.

The award Miller received is named after former Questar Gas Corporation President and CEO Nick Rose, who was instrumental some three decades ago in the formation of Utah’s current public-private economic development business model, which promotes government and business collaboration to drive economic development in Utah.

In receiving the award, Miller said he has been fortunate to work with stellar teams. "Coming up with ideas is the easy part," he explained. "Working with teams that can take those ideas and turn them into something real is even more terrific."

He expressed gratitude for the partnership between WTC Utah and EDCUtah and noted that the work taking place within the two organizations and the Governor's Office of Economic Development (GOED) is vital to the state. "It is sometimes hard to get perspective on what we are doing," he explained. "I am convinced that 50 years from now people will look back at our time and activity in the state as the point we turned the corner, where Utah stood out as an economic powerhouse on the world stage."

Miller returned to Utah a decade ago and has since spent his time and energy in roles such as chief of staff to Gov. Gary Herbert, executive director of the Governor's Office of Economic Development, and most recently as president and CEO of World Trade Center Utah.

Speaking of the award, Utah Gov. Gary Herbert said, "Derek played a crucial role in countless economic successes throughout the past decade. He continues to make a name for himself as an architect of economic opportunity and innovation in the great state of Utah. Our state is flourishing, due in part, to Derek's leadership and vision. Utah's economic stakeholders could not have selected a better recipient for this award. I am honored to call Derek B. Miller a friend and advisor."

Women's Entrepreneurial Conference Grant Competition

The Utah Microenterprise Loan Fund (UMLF) is accepting applications for the Women's Entrepreneurial Conference (WEC) Grant Competition, which will be held Wed., April 19 at the Holladay City Hall. Grant applications will be accepted until Jan. 30 and 12 semi-finalists will be notified Feb. 17.

Finalists will pitch live during the Women's Entrepreneurial Conference, with winners announced during the event. The grants have been made possible through the support of the Salt Lake Chamber Women's Business Center, Utah Microenterprise Loan Fund and Utah Women's Networking Group.

Pitch training will be provided to help women master their presenting skills at a pitching workshop held on Wed., Jan. 25, at 11:30 a.m. at the Salt Lake Chamber. Information regarding the grants, what will be expected for the applications and how to create an effective pitch for sales, funding and banking presentations will also be explained.

UCCD World Affairs Lecture

The Utah Council for Citizen Diplomacy's World Affairs Lecture Series will host General David G. Perkins, a 4-Star Commanding General in the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command, for a lecture Feb. 7 at 7 p.m. at the Jewett Center for the Performing Arts, Westminster College, 1840 S. 1300 East in Salt Lake City.

General Perkins will focus his remarks on "Developing Leaders to Succeed on an International Stage" and explore the U.S. Army's role in evolving national security and how the Army develops leaders to succeed on a complex international stage. The lecture is free and open to the public. Click here for more information.

Toolbox: Doing Business in Mexico

In 2016, World Trade Center Utah launched its "Doing Business In" newsletter article series. These articles highlight one of Utah's top export destinations and help companies navigate the opportunities and challenges the market presents.

The U.S. has close economic and cultural ties with Mexico, which makes it a natural choice for first-time exporters or businesses looking to expand. It can be logistically less challenging than other markets because of its proximity to the U.S. and well-established supply chains.

Additionally, the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) has eliminated most tariffs, reducing paperwork and increasing demand for U.S. goods. In 2015, Utah exported $13 billion worth of goods worldwide, six percent of which were exported to Mexico. The top Utah exports in 2015 were transportation equipment, metals and food.

Those interested in doing business in Mexica need to develop close relationships with clients and partners. Face-to-face meetings and phone calls are preferred, although email is also widely used. Business lunches can be expected to last three to four hours. The primary aim of lunches is to establish personal relationships, with business topics often becoming a secondary priority.

While the relationship between the U.S. and Mexico is close, the Mexican market should be approached in a different manner than the domestic market. Exporters to Mexico may underestimate the size and diversity of the market. It is often necessary to have more than one distributor in country.

Also, Mexico's legal system has fundamental differences from ours. Exporters would do well to seek advice before entering agreements. Some law firms with international experience can be found in our resource guide.

Because of instability in some areas of Mexico, you should check the State Department's travel warning website before traveling to a new location in the country.

Mexico's most promising sectors include packaging equipment, security and safety equipment, transportation, travel and tourism services and agriculture, to name a few. If you are considering expanding into Mexico, World Trade Center Utah can assemble trade data and other relevant market information for your company to assist in market selection.

For more information, or for any other help with your international expansion efforts, please contact the WTC Utah Trade Services Team at exportassistance@wtcutah.com.

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