New Hampshire-based businesses are focused on expanding their already robust international trade networks in coming years. According to the Business Roundtable, an association of corporate executives from some of America’s top companies, more than one in five jobs in New Hampshire currently depend on foreign trade. It was also reported that trade-related employment in the state grew more than four times faster in the last decade than jobs not related to foreign trade. As this growth includes New Hampshire’s labor force, as well as business and management professionals, international business majors in the state’s highly-regarded business schools are eager to contribute to this forward momentum as it moves New Hampshire-based companies further into the global marketplace.
New Hampshire’s manufacturing sector is even more heavily vested in international trade, as nearly a quarter of all manufacturing jobs in the state depend directly or indirectly on companies involved in the export of goods, materials and services. According to the International Trade Administration, New Hampshire exported $4.4 billion in goods and services to foreign markets in 2010, yet not all of the businesses involved in exporting were large corporations. In fact, of the more than 2,000 New Hampshire-based companies that exported merchandise in 2010, 88% were classified as small to medium sized enterprises employing fewer than 500 people.
New Hampshire’s International Trade Partners
According to the International Trade Administration, Mexico is New Hampshire’s largest and fastest growing trade partner. In fact, New Hampshire nearly doubled its exports to Mexico in just two years, from $557.8 million in 2008 to $1 billion in 2010. Canada tallied $538 million in imports from New Hampshire in 2010, while China imported $412 million in goods and materials from the state that year.
New Hampshire’s leading exporters are companies that produce computers and electronic products, followed by machinery manufactures and electrical equipment and appliance manufacturers.
International Business Jobs in New Hampshire
Velcro USA is among the largest exporting firms based in New Hampshire. This iconic fabric and textile company employs roughly 800 employees in Manchester and exports materials to markets all over the world, including two of its biggest importing countries, China and Australia.
Based in Stratham, Timberland Company ships shoe products around the globe while employing more than 2,000 workers and corporate staff domestically, and another 3,000 in other countries.
Segway Incorporated, the revolutionary manufacturer of personal transportation devices used by tourism companies and law enforcement worldwide, is headquartered in Bedford.
New Hampshire is also home to a number of multi-national companies with operations both in the United States and abroad. Foreign-owned companies employed more than 40,000 workers in 2009, making up more than 7% of New Hampshire’s total private sector employment that year.
Foreign-owned companies are major boons to state economies, injecting foreign capitol and stabilizing employment when domestic companies sometimes face economic uncertainty. Some major multi-nationals with operations in New Hampshire include Fujifilm of Japan, which manufactures photographic supplies, and Siemens of Germany, an electronics manufacturer with operations in Exeter and Portsmouth.
New Hampshire’s businesses engaged in international commerce require the talents of international accountants who support and assist accounting and financial reporting activities across international boundaries, and global market researchers who learn about potential foreign customers through quantitative and qualitative analysis of consumption habits in specific markets. Businesses rely on international marketers to develop culturally specific strategies for tapping foreign markets and global managers to oversee the complexities of operating a company across several regulatory zones. As domestic companies of all stripes adapt to the need to engage in foreign trade, the demand for international business professionals in New Hampshire will continue to rise.
Making International Business Contacts in New Hampshire
New Hampshire offers a number of resources for companies exploring international business opportunities in the state: