Colorado’s unique geology and geography lend themselves well to business endeavors in both mining and telecommunications. The resource-rich Rocky Mountains in the western half of the state have established Colorado’s status as a mineral and energy resource powerhouse, while Denver’s “mile high” status and central location within the country give it a singular advantage in the communications industry. Due to its location and elevation, Denver is one of the only cities in the world able to offer real-time satellite up links to six different continents each day. Students in Colorado’s business schools pursuing international business majors have come to view mining and communications, as well as the state’s diverse export base, as key factors to helping place Colorado at the center of global commerce within the Rocky Mountain region.
According to the International Trade Administration, Colorado’s leading exports are computers and electronic products, which accounted for $1.8 billion in foreign exports in 2010. The state’s diverse export base of manufactured goods also includes processed foods, as well as industrial chemicals and machinery. Colorado-based companies involved in international trade support nearly one-fourth of all manufacturing jobs in the state.
In Colorado, international commerce is not just the domain of ultra-large corporations. In fact, of the 4,494 Colorado companies involved in foreign trade, more than 85% are small to medium-sized enterprises with fewer than 500 employees.
Colorado’s International Trade Partners
According to the International Trade Administration, Colorado was responsible for $6.7 billion in exports to foreign markets in 2010. Colorado’s number one trade partner is Canada, which received $1.7 billion in exports from the state that year. China is number two, and one of Colorado’s fastest growing trade partners. According to the Business Roundtable, an association of executives from some of America’s top corporations, Colorado exported $508.2 million in goods to China in 2008, and by 2010 exports to the Asian nation increased to $559 million. Behind China were the European nations of the Netherlands, which received $331 million in Colorado-produced exports, and Germany with $321 million.
International Business Jobs in Colorado
Foreign-owned companies have invested heavily in the state of Colorado due to its rich resources and business-friendly tax structures. The International Trade Administration published a report showing that multinational companies with a presence in Colorado employed 79,000 workers and corporate professionals in the state as of 2009, the most recent year for which records are available. Important sources of foreign investment and job creation in the state come from multinational corporations based in the United Kingdom, Canada, France and Switzerland, among others.
Colorado is the location of US operations for a number of major foreign-owned multinationals, including BAE Systems of the United Kingdom, which operates a container solutions facility in Berthoud.
British Petroleum recently constructed a wind farm in Weld Country that will supply renewable energy to over 75,000 Colorado homes. As the second largest natural gas producer in Colorado, the UK-based firm employs 300 workers and office staff in the southwestern part of the state.
Oldcastle Precast Inc., a precast concrete supplier based in Ireland, has had one of its major US operations in Littleton for over 40 years.
Leading Colorado-based exporting corporations include MIG International Group of Boulder, which ships pork and poultry products to markets as far away as Hong Kong.
P2 Energy Solutions is headquartered in Denver and provides industry-specific accounting software and geospatial data to oil and gas exploration companies. In addition to extensive domestic operations based in Denver, P2 Energy Solutions also maintains facilities in Dubai and Tunisia.
Both domestically-owned and foreign controlled multinational companies in Colorado will continue to support jobs in international accounting, global management and consultation, supply chain and logistical management, as well as import/export trade law compliance, among many others.
Making International Business Contacts in Colorado
Colorado offers a number of resources to those seeking information about careers in international business: