Oregon has one of the most vibrant economies in the Pacific Northwest, boasting a diversified economy based on agriculture, forest and fisheries, and also an innovative technology sector. Portland’s technology district, known as the “Silicon Forest” in a nod to California’s Silicon Valley to the south, is home to hundreds of technology firms employing over 50,000 Oregon workers as of 2008, the latest year that records were kept, according to The Oregonian.
In addition, Oregon has the #1 lowest effective tax rate in the United States according to an Ernst & Young COST Study and ranks #6 as the best state to for business, according to Forbes. Business Oregon notes that the state is ranked in the top ten for overall business and tax climate by Business Facilities, a premier source for business real estate investing.
The state of Oregon is working hard to maintain this momentum by offering a portfolio of initiatives to assist businesses to expand into new foreign markets. Business Oregon offers the Oregon STEP Program and the Oregon Trade Promotion Program, which reimburses a portion of a company’s expenses when attending vital trade shows and missions. Pro-business tax structures and government support are the foundations to a vibrant economy and international business majors will find in Oregon an economy focused on attracting foreign investment and fostering international trade.
Oregon’s International Trade Partners
Exporting goods and services overseas is essential to Oregon’s economy with over 4,500 companies exporting in 2009, the latest year records were kept. Most of these companies (89%) were small and medium-sized enterprises, according to the International Trade Administration. This diversified export-base means Oregon’s economy can withstand the ups and downs of particular sectors. Export-related manufacturing jobs make up nearly one-quarter of all manufacturing jobs in the state.
Exports in Oregon amounted to $18.3 billion in 2011, with most of that trade directed at China. A full $3.2 billion in exports, 17% of the state’s total output, were directed toward China in 2011. China was followed by Canada at $2.7 billion and the important Pacific-Rim countries of Malaysia ($2.2 billion) and Japan ($1.6 billion). Oregon’s leading export is computers electronic products, which accounted for almost half of the state’s exports in 2011. There is also a brisk business in agricultural products, chemicals and machinery.
International Business Jobs in Oregon
Oregon is home to some of the most important multinational companies in the United States, including the athletic shoes and clothing giant, Nike, Inc. Nike is headquartered near Beaverton where it employs 5,000 workers in addition to another 30,000 around the world, according to the company website. Precision Castparts Corp headquartered in Portland, is a Fortune 500 multinational company manufacturing cast metal parts for the industrial, automobile, aerospace and defense industries. Precision Castparts Corp. produced a revenue of over $6 billion last year and employs over 21,000 workers at locations around the globe. Other Multinational companies include TriQuint Semiconductor headquartered in Hillsboro, Columbia Sportswear with headquarters near Beaverton and Schnitzer Steel Industries of Portland, which ships recycled steel products to locations around the globe.
Oregon combines the best of Northwest innovation and high-tech knowhow with aggressive governmental policies that encourage manufacturing and export growth while attracting highly capitalized foreign investors. As Oregon’s pro-business initiatives continue to pay off in job growth and international market expansion, companies will need international business professionals to staff their ranks in the areas of import compliance, international banking, global management, and many others.
Making International Business Contacts in Oregon
Oregon has a number of organizations dedicated to providing information on international business, and that also serve to assist businesses interested in participating in international commerce: