Getting some attention about the state's robust economy has taken a while, but a delegation representing the United Kingdom soon will be telling the world about Utah.
That word comes from Merrick S. Baker-Bates the British consulate general in Los Angeles who was in Salt Lake City this week during a visit by the lord mayor of London, Sir Paul Newall. Newall, said Baker-Bates, is spreading the word about the advantages of Utah business expanding to Britain and will encourage British companies to purchase products and services from Utah companies.Baker-Bates said Newall wants to ensure that Utah's story gets to the rest of the world. He said Utah has the reputation of being one of the best-managed states. It is the fastest growing state in per capita income and has the second-largest concentration of computer software companies in the United States.
Several molders of opinion in Britain will accompany the lord mayor when he visits the Salt Lake Area Chamber of Commerce and authorities of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
His itinerary includes Kennecott Corp., Lt. Gov. Olene Walker, the Utah Department of Community and Economic Development, a reception in the Marriott Hotel, a concert at Abravanel Hall and a session of the Shakespearean Festival in Cedar City.
One of Baker-Bates' jobs is to find people who will buy British products, which range from pollution control equipment to cookies. A second objective is to look for American companies that might be expanding overseas and explain the advantages of selecting Britain.
A third objective is to spread the word about Utah and encourage British investors to look toward the Beehive State.
Baker-Bates said Britons have invested $112 billion in American companies, which means Britain is important to the United States and vice versa. In many instances, Americans and Britons don't know they are dealing with a company that is supported by foreign investment.
Some of the advantages of investing in Britain are the lowest main corporate tax rate in the European Community, no exchange controls on profits sent overseas, 100 percent allowances on trade-related research, labor costs significantly below other European countries, liberal and undemanding labor regulations, a common language and a commitment to reduce burdens on business.
In addition to promoting business, Baker-Bates said Britain is trying to promote more cultural exchanges between the two countries. An example is the Los Angeles Festival. Baker-Bates hopes to promote similar events in Salt Lake City and other areas.