Business-Minded Legal Solutions

Houston is ‘global gateway’ for foreign business investment

A December 2021 report shows that foreign companies operating in Texas expanded the number of jobs by 21% between 2014 and 2019. International companies account for just over 6% of the state’s total employment.

The Lone Star State’s positive international business climate was also evident as Houston was one of only two U.S. cities (New York the other) to make the current Global Cities of the Future list. The rankings assess major cities around the world based on foreign direct investment (FDI).

Manufacturing jobs lead the way

The report, released by the Global Business Alliance trade organization, says FDI accounts for over 678,000 jobs in Texas, with the manufacturing industry responsible for 30%. The study shows that approximately 1,800 foreign businesses operate in Texas.

Companies based in Japan, France and the United Kingdom provide the largest number of FDI jobs. At 6.2% of all jobs provided by international employers, Texas ranks higher than the national average of 5.9%. The state’s 21% growth from 2014 to 2019 also significantly outpaced all private-sector job creation, which grew by about 12% during the same period.

Houston leads the way in FDI

Houston’s No. 19 spot on the Global Cities of the Future list in 2021 was five places higher from when the last rankings were published in 2019. The city earned its “Global Gateway” label by being the nation’s top port by tonnage and served by two international airports.

Of the roughly 1,800 foreign firms operating in the state, about 1,700 are in the Houston area, and 92 countries have a consulate or some form of official government representation. In total, Houston saw nearly $200 billion in trade in 2020.