Trade and International Business Development

Cargo Ship

Houston is a hub for international commerce, positioned as the energy capital of the world and a global leader in healthcare, aeronautics, advanced manufacturing, and innovation. It is home to the largest U.S. port in the U.S. in foreign tonnage, two international airports, the largest medical center in the world, and the Ellington Space Port. Over 5,000 Houston companies are engaged in international business, and approximately 1,000 Houston firms report foreign ownership.

The City's global trade division acts as the Houston region's international business development office.  We identify synergies between Houston based companies and international partners for growth opportunities, coordinate trade missions abroad, and facilitate inbound trade missions from foreign countries to Houston. We are committed to helping create jobs and economic opportunity for Houston residents by attracting foreign direct investment (FDI), building the startup and innovation ecosystem, and helping Houston area companies export and find new investment opportunities abroad.

Trade and Economic Development Resources

Bay Area Houston Economic Partnership
Central Houston
Chapter 311 of the Texas Tax Code
Export- Import Bank
Greater Houston Partnership
Harris County Economic Development
Houston District Export Council
Houston OBO Solutions Center
Lift Fund
Texas Economic Development Council
U.S. Commercial Service- Houston 
U.S. Small Business Administration 

Key Federal Agency Resources

EXIM Bank Credit Insurance 
Small Business Administration International Sales 
Small Business Administration Loan Guarantees 
Small Business Development Centers 
Trade Finance Guide 
U.S. Customs and Border Protection  
U.S. Foreign Agricultural Service 
U.S. Trade Representative  

Past Trade and Economic Development Missions

June 27 - July 1, 2022

March 30 - April 1, 2022

Argentina, Chile, Peru
July 14- 20, 2018

September, 2018  

November 9-18, 2018 

September 25-27, 2016 

South Africa 
October 28- November 6, 2016 

November 20-22, 2016 

December 13-15, 2016 

April 17-28, 2015

Indonesia and Taiwan
July 10-19, 2015

September 27- 30, 2015