Arizona’s business community is focused on positioning itself to be a strong player in international trade. Several public and private trade organizations, such as Innovation Arizona, are implementing strategies to broaden the state’s international trade opportunities. These initiatives include offering export counseling services to Arizona-based businesses, and maintaining foreign offices within the countries most involved in trade with Arizona’s business community, including Japan, Mexico and Canada.
These Arizona-based trade organizations also spearhead trade missions built around introducing small and medium-sized businesses in the state to international markets. For example, the Arizona International Trade Division works closely with companies in the aerospace, bioscience and green technology industries. The concerted effort of these public trade organizations, along with local government and private industry, are helping to usher Arizona onto the global stage. This has international business majors in Arizona’s schools of business eager to explore these new opportunities to engage with foreign markets and businesses.
While Arizona’s state economy once relied on what was known as the “five Cs”: copper, cattle, cotton, citrus and climate (tourism), Arizona has in recent years made international trade one of its economic cornerstones. Exports are big business in Arizona, with shipments valued at $15.6 billion reaching foreign markets in 2010, according to the International Trade Administration. In fact, over 25% of all workers in Arizona’s manufacturing sector depend on international trade. More than 5,000 Arizona-based companies exported products in 2009, the latest year for which information is available, and of those, 89% were classified as small to medium-sized. Majoring in international business will grant access to this booming trade market and prepare graduates to help companies big and small achieve success in the international marketplace.
Arizona’s International Trade Partners
Arizona’s largest trade partner is Mexico, accounting for $5.1 billion of the state’s exports in 2010, nearly 32% of the total that year. Canada followed with $2 billion, and then China, one of Arizona’s fastest growing trade partners, having received $1 billion in exports from Arizona in 2010. Germany received $663 million in exports from Arizona, and Singapore tallied $660 million in 2010.
Unlike Arizona’s agrarian past, industrial and technological products are now Arizona’s biggest exports. The state’s leading exports include computers and electronic products, which accounted for $5.2 billion of total exports in 2010. Transportation equipment, industrial machinery, agricultural products, electrical equipment, appliances and parts were also among the state’s top exports. This diverse export base ensures economic stability when particular industries come under stress and ensures the overall economy will remain strong in the event of losses in a specific sector.
International Business Jobs in Arizona
Arizona is the home to many large companies that export both merchandise and services to foreign markets. The Bank of America Tower in Phoenix’s Collier Center is a major base for the companies many overseas concerns. The multi-national banking giant employs 13,000 corporate staff in the state. Honeywell International, a major aerospace manufacturer, provides 9,700 jobs in Arizona. Another big name, Intel Corporation, employs over 9,500 workers at its microprocessor manufacturing plant in Chandler.
Freeport-McMoRan Copper and Gold is a major mining operation headquartered in Phoenix, with annual revenue of $18.9 billion. The company employs some 29,700 workers worldwide, including corporate staff like logistics and supply chain managers, and custom brokers. Freeport-McMonRon is the largest low-cost copper producer in the world and one of the largest produces of gold, according to the company website. As demand for these minerals and other rare earth metals continue to skyrocket, mining companies are expected to add to the 7,000 jobs the industry already supports in Arizona.
The state is also home to a number of major foreign-controlled companies that inject capitol into local economies and create jobs. These companies include Ebraer Executive Jet Service of Brazil, Canon USA, Toyota of Japan, and Shell Oil of the United Kingdom. Multinational companies are know for offering secure and lucrative jobs that allow qualified professions to work abroad in foreign offices where they use their international business savvy to meet challenges and solve problems.
Making International Business Contacts in Arizona
Arizona offers resources for those interested in information about international business in the state: