International Business: World Trade Center Utah: Connecting international business at the crossroads of the West

Published: Friday, Oct. 14 2011 12:00 p.m. MDT

“We are a small organization in a small state,” he said after meeting with the entire organization in a small 15-foot square conference room. “Therefore, we must make the most of our assets and communicate, collaborate, and cooperate. However, we are nimble, quicker to respond to opportunities. There is no bureaucracy here.”

This cooperative spirit means that others are sometimes credited for the help provided by Cramer and his staff. As long as it means Utah businesses and exports are growing, Cramer has no objections.

“In fact, sometimes companies don’t want us to communicate their successes at all," he said. "One businessman, for example, will return thanking us for helping to guide him to excellent business opportunities in Japan. However, he will half-seriously joke, ‘please tell everyone that business in Japan is terrible so that my competition does not join me.’”

Business is good for both sides in international trade, and after cheerfully telling about great opportunities overseas, Cramer will quickly return to enumerating the strengths of business in Utah.

“We’re always trying to encourage the government to adopt business-friendly policies in regulation, taxes and education," he said. "The state of Utah consistently does so, and that is why so many companies are enticed to move here from California and elsewhere."

These policies also help foster business that originates and stays in Utah.

“For 150 years, Utah’s primary exports – minerals – have come from the mines in our western hills," continues Cramer, referring to the respected schools like Brigham Young University and the University of Utah on the eastern sides of major Utah cities. "Now, a close second are the high tech exports that come from the minds in our eastern hills. Now the University of Utah is launching more tech startups than any other U.S. academic institution, including MIT.”

Cramer notes that the state’s location “at the Crossroads of the West” also makes it an enticing location for enterprise. In addition to the rail lines that gave Utah the crossroads name, the state also has an international airport that makes international travel and shipping quite convenient.

The state also has thousands of miles of pipelines and is centrally located for trucking, with what the Utah Department of Transportation reports to be the highest percentage of highway truck traffic in the nation. This means Utah-based businesses can get their products to market faster and cheaper than many businesses located elsewhere.

Any venture considering Utah as a business opportunity in Utah should visit Cramer, Goryunova and the rest of the WTC Utah staff. It is not their enthusiasm that makes the opportunities sound great; it is actually Utah’s many spectacular business opportunities that generate so much enthusiasm.

Adam Wooten is director of translation services at Lingotek. He also teaches a course on translation technology at BYU. E-mail: awooten@lingotek.com. Follow him on Twitter at AdamWooten.

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