Trade and International Affairs
“Houston is a welcoming city, embracing all cultures, ethnicities and nationalities. We are a world-class international city, striving towards an ever more global future.”
— Sylvester Turner, Mayor of the City of Houston
Houston began as a town on the bayou – a trading hub where the railroads met and where commerce could extend from the United States to the world. Since its humble founding, Houston has grown to become the nation's fourth-largest city by total population and is the energy capital of the world. Houston is a globally recognized leader in life science, manufacturing, logistics, and aerospace. As a testament to its standing as a diverse and dynamic city, one in four residents is born abroad and more than 145 languages are spoken in Houston. As the city’s global presence and influence grow, the Mayor’s Office of Trade and International Affairs (MOTIA) is an important link between Houstonians and the world, and serves as the City’s international liaison and trade development leader. Whether welcoming heads of state, building international diplomatic ties, attracting foreign direct investment, or assisting Houston businesses seeking markets abroad, MOTIA's core mission is the preservation, promotion, and continued growth of Houston's standing as a premier international city.