Gov. Gary R. Herbert is leading a business and diplomacy delegation of Utah companies and organizations on a trade mission to Switzerland, France and Italy to boost trade to Utah and promote the state as an attractive destination for foreign investment.
With many industries represented in the delegation, specific company and event visits will focus on exploring manufacturing, aerospace and energy trends. From June 13 to 21, 2019, delegates will forge valuable connections and gain industry insights from companies familiar with Utah.
“This trade mission to Europe will allow Utah companies to connect with diverse industries,” said Val Hale, executive director of the Utah Governor’s Office of Economic Development. “Maintaining and strengthening relationships with companies in these countries is key to Utah’s continued economic success.”
The three markets were selected based on their high-ranking GDP as well as for their close ties with the U.S. France and Italy have the world’s 7th and 9th largest GDPs, respectively. Additionally, Switzerland is the number one ranked nation globally in innovation, with a high percentage of its GDP coming from R&D investment. All three countries share a stable relationship with the U.S. and similar policies on most political and economic issues. France has more than 20,000 foreign businesses already established in-country. The U.S.’ exports to Italy are concentrated in pharmaceutical products, nuclear reactors and machinery.
“What sets this opportunity apart for Utah businesses are the connections made possible by participating in the governor’s delegation,” said Miles Hansen, president and CEO of World Trade Center Utah (WTC Utah). “The high-level itinerary offers the opportunity to see Utah’s impact on foreign markets firsthand and to pursue mutually beneficial relationships across industries and governments in settings not otherwise available.”
Derek Miller, president and CEO of the Salt Lake Chamber agrees, “Utah is a globally engaged state and our long-term prosperity is inextricably linked to our success in international markets. By participating in a trade mission, businesses are provided the opportunity to network, develop business-to-business partnerships and participate in site visits and country briefings, among other activities. These trips also allow us to elevate the message that Utah is the place to be for economic and international investment.”
The delegation will begin the mission in Switzerland highlighted with a visit to Stadler Rail, a Swiss passenger train and tram manufacturing company with American headquarters located in Utah. Stadler recently celebrated the completion of a $50 million manufacturing facility in Salt Lake City in an inaugural ceremony attended by Gov. Herbert in May 2019. The delegation visit to its Swiss location will celebrate the growing relationship between Stadler and Utah while exploring further partnership opportunities, including Stadler Rail’s apprenticeship program that will be implemented in partnership with Talent Ready Utah, Salt Lake Community College and Utah public schools.
Attendance at the 2019 International Paris Air Show is part of the delegation’s visit to France. The event is the largest air show in the world. The newest technologies in aerospace and defense and related equipment, such as aircraft engines, satellite navigation technology, aircraft cabins and seats and weapons systems will be presented; and eight Utah aerospace companies will attend to promote Utah as a premier destination for the industry.
Another foreign company currently operating in Utah is the Italian multinational energy company Enel Green Power. Enel’s Cove Fort Plant in Utah uses large scale electrical submersible pumps for the extraction of geothermal fluid, a cleaner and more efficient technology that ensures zero energy loss while implementing state-of-the-art maintenance software. The delegation will arrive in Italy, in part, to visit Enel’s Rome location to learn more about the energy company’s recent activities in Utah and to explore how Utah companies may enter its supply chain.
Among the delegates is CEO Natalie Kaddas of Kaddas Enterprises, a provider of high-quality thermoform plastic solutions for airline, rail, medical, automotive and electric power companies. The trade mission to Europe marks Kaddas’ fifth with the state. Having experienced a 400 percent increase in international sales over the past few years, the company credits much of this success to their participation in trade missions and trade shows. Kaddas states that “having the support of the governor establishes a level of credibility that a small business could not create on its own. Additionally, building relationships with other delegates while abroad has been rewarding and prosperous.”
With the support of World Trade Center Utah, the Utah Governor’s Office of Economic Development, the Salt Lake Chamber, Zions Bank, the U.S. Commercial Service and the U.S. Small Business Administration, the trade mission is comprised of private and public organizations from various industries.
Organizations participating in the European trade mission are: