Utah and Japan Grow Business Partnerships

Brett Heimburger, director of the International Trade and Diplomacy Office at the Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED), showcased the Beehive State during an address to a group of highly-influential Japanese business leaders during the State of Utah Trade Mission to Japan. 

The “Why Utah” seminar, which was organized in partnership with the Japan External Trade Organization and the U.S. Foreign Commercial Service, highlighted Utah as a favorable business destination for Japanese firms looking to do business in the United States  

Utah stands as Pollina Corporate’s  no. 1 Pro-Business State and Forbes Magazine’s no. 1 State for Business and Careers in 2014. The state fosters international growth and prosperity with 188 foreign firms from 29 countries. Together, they employ 29,000 Utahns across various industries.  

“There are more than 20 Japanese firms in the state,” said Brett Heimburger. “This is one of many strong economic and cultural ties between the State of Utah and Japan. Currently, Utah companies export over a half -billion dollars a year to this market with export growth being up 36% from 2010 to 2014. We are constantly looking at ways to strengthen these relationships, and attracting foreign direct investment is an important component in this process.”  

Utah’s unique tax rebates attract foreign investors to make capital investments in the state while creating jobs for Utah residents. Utah is the no. 4 state in the U.S. for venture capital investment. Industrial loans, tax incentives and start-up money are regularly used to expand, relocate and open new businesses.

“Companies that move to Utah soon discover that not only are their needs met, but they also develop a close partnership with the state,” Heimburger said.

Utah is becoming a premier global business destination with more than 130 languages spoken in daily commerce. Many residents have either lived or worked abroad, enhancing their ability to make immediate contributions to the success of Utah companies and their foreign counterparts.

“We have had a great experience with doing business in Utah,” said “Why Utah” presenter Katsuhiko Sakitama of Polatechno Co., Ltd., parent company of Orem-based Moxtek, Inc. “We acquired a great business and with great talent have been able to successfully grow. We are planning to build a clean room in our new Moxtek building this year, and we are committed to expanding our business in Utah.”

Each year, GOED hosts several trade missions, business seminars and forums that act as catalysts for international trade and expansion. For more information about business in Utah, visit business.utah.gov/international/.