Fort Worth Chamber Of Commerce Quarterly Report

Recruiting international business – whether bringing international companies to Fort Worth or helping local companies expand internationally – is a top priority for the Fort Worth community.

Our city is home to international brand leaders, manufacturers, and service providers that collectively do business in nearly 100 countries worldwide. Taking to the air to tell Fort Worth’s – and the region’s – story is a critical part of building bridges with international companies and is one of the most effective business recruiting tools in the Fort Worth Chamber’s toolbox.

In 2014, the Chamber traveled with Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price, Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings, the Fort Worth Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB), the Dallas Regional Chamber, the Dallas CVB, and DFW International Airport to Australia, South America, China and Japan. While these trade delegations cover vast miles, they bring the world closer to us.

Asia, home to 60 percent of the world’s population, is an economic powerhouse that is a top target for Fort Worth. In our trip abroad last October, NGC Transmission announced a new, major facility in Fort Worth – which is now the company’s North American headquarters. On our visit to Nanjing, China, NGC President Dr. Gou Jianhui and Mayor Price signed a Memorandum of Understanding, pledging to work together to explore future business opportunities.

The Western European countries of Germany, the United Kingdom, France and Italy are also primary targets, ranking 4th, 5th, 6th and 7th globally in nominal Gross Domestic Product. We had the opportunity to visit this past spring with business and government leaders in all four nations, which yielded three more economic development wins: Three more companies – from France and England – will call Fort Worth home.

So what is it about Fort Worth? For global companies, access remains one of the most significant factors in site selection decisions. We offer world-class transportation infrastructure – through DFW Airport, the Alliance Global Logistics Hub, and the Interstate 35W trade route – that is unparalleled, whether shuttling employees from location to location, or moving goods throughout the U.S. or around the world. Also at the top of the list: a highly educated workforce, which is in ample supply in our region and translates to the robust talent pools that global companies require.

With more than two dozen major industrial/business parks in Fort Worth, expansive land yet to be developed in AllianceTexas, along the Chisholm Trail Parkway and in Mercantile Park, Carter Park and Trinity Lakes on the east side, favorable business and legislative environment, low cost of living and high quality of life, Fort Worth hits all the marks for companies looking to have a base of operations in the U.S.

Reputation is also key: Fort Worth was recently named No. 2 in the "Best Cities for Job Seekers" by Forbes, and in Chief Executive magazine’s annual CEO survey on the “Best and Worst States to Do Business,” Texas once again secured the top spot as best state for business – for the 11th year in a row.

The world is now at our doorstep, thanks to globalization and advances in communication. Through targeted international recruiting efforts, Fort Worth is reaping the benefits of global companies’ investments while driving economic growth close to home.

David Berzina is executive vice president of economic development for the Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce, and he joined the Chamber in 2004. His projects have resulted in more than 13 million square feet of building space, $3.4 billion in capital investment, and more than 20,000 jobs and $1.2 billion in annual payroll. The Chamber will provide an economic development update in each issue of FW Inc.