Austin is known globally as a center of innovation and technology. It is renowned for its quality of life, technology infrastructure, and a diverse and educated workforce. These conditions combine to create the strongest business climate in the United States, an ideal location for foreign companies looking to enter the U.S. market. The metro region’s geographic location provides easy access to the eastern and western U.S. coasts, as well as access into Mexico and Canada. Nonstop service between Austin and London began in 2014 and flights continue to be added as Austin’s attractiveness as a place to live and work is a huge draw for corporations looking to establish a U.S. presence. DIVERSE POPULATION As the center of Texas’ state government and home to a large Tier 1 educational institution in The University of Texas, Austin has a population that is young, diverse, and educated. FOREIGN TRADE & INVESTMENT Texas is the country’s largest exporter and has been ranked as the top exporter since 2002. Austin exported $10.1 billion worth of goods in 2015. The region’s leading trading partners are South Korea, Taiwan, Mexico, Japan, China, Canada, and Malaysia. The Austin metropolitan area attracts a significant foreign direct investment (FDI) from companies across the globe. Austin garners 12 percent of the state’s FDI. Over the last five years, Austin was the number three city in Texas for the total number of FDI projects. Austin was number one for semiconductor and electronics and number two for software and information technology FDI projects in Texas. Samsung Austin Semiconductor’s total investment in Austin since 1996 is $16 billion, the largest foreign investment in Texas history. AN INTERNATIONAL CITY Hundreds of Austin firms are doing business around the world on a daily basis. International companies such as NXP Semiconductors, Dell Technologies, Whole Foods, and National Instruments are just some of the Austin- area companies with global operations. Austin is home to nearly 300 foreign-owned firms, including leading brand names such as Samsung, Philips, Gemalto, BAE Systems, and TECO Westinghouse. GLOBAL EVENTS Austin is the state for some major globally recognized events that draw international interest, such as South by Southwest, Formula 1, Lone Star Le Mans, and MotoGP, among others. FOREIGN TRADE ZONES A Foreign Trade Zone (FTZ) is a secure site within the United States where merchandise is considered to be outside of U.S. Customs territory. As a result, companies operating in the FTZ can achieve a number of significant economic benefits, including: • Enhanced cash flow. Rather than paying duty when goods arrive in the U.S., companies defer the payment of duty until the goods leave the FTZ for a domestic destination. • Eliminated duty. Items that are brought into the zone and then exported never enter U.S. Customs territory and are therefore exempt from duty. Additionally, manufacturers of finished products intended for a U.S. destination may elect to pay duty on the value of the imported components at the lower duty rate applicable to the components, or the duty rate applicable to the finished product made in the FTZ. • Streamlined customs procedures, reducing paperwork and expense. • Eliminated state and local property tax on inventory. Foreign goods and domestic goods held for export are exempt from state/local inventory taxes. Foreign Trade Zone 183 covers the five-county Austin metropolitan area and is overseen by the Foreign Trade Zone of Central Texas. In 2012, the FTZ of Central Texas received approval from the federal government to operate under new streamlined procedures designed to make U.S. businesses more competitive. Under the new Alternative Site Framework designation, the fivecounty metropolitan area has been pre-approved by the federal government as an eligible FTZ property. With the concurrence of local taxing entities and the FTZ of Central Texas, companies located anywhere in the metro area can apply for FTZ designation on an expedited and simplified basis. There are costs involved in obtaining and operating an FTZ. Consequently, a company should first conduct an evaluation to decide whether the economic benefits outweigh the costs. If your company can benefit from FTZ user designation, first contact the FTZ of Central Texas for approval and support and to determine applicable fees. An application will then be filed with the Foreign Trade Zones Board for approval. Once the applications are approved, the company will work with the FTZ of Central Texas and Customs and Border Protection Services to obtain activation for the facility. To obtain additional information on the FTZ program and whether it is right for your company, please contact the Foreign Trade Zone of Central Texas at austinchamber.com/FTZ. INTERNATIONAL PARTNERS Austin Chapter of Taiwanese Chambers of Commerce actcc.wordpress.com City of Austin Global Business Recruitment & Expansion Division 301 W 2nd St., Suite 2030 Austin, TX 78701 512-974-6381 austintexas.gov/international internationalaustin.org District Export Councils of Texas–Camino Real exporttexas.com Enterprise Ireland 515 Congress Ave., Suite 1750 Austin, TX 78701 512.792.5499 enterprise-ireland.com French American Business Council of Austin fabc-austin.org GlobalAustin 1103 W 24th St. Austin, TX 78705 512-215-0140 globalaustin.org Greater Austin Asian Chamber of Commerce 8001 Centre Park Dr., Suite 160 Austin, TX 78754 512-407-8240 austinasianchamber.org Greater Austin Black Chamber of Commerce 912 E 11th St., Suite A Austin, TX 78702 512-459-1181 austinbcc.org Greater Hispanic Chamber of Commerce 3601 Far West Blvd., Suite 204 Austin, TX 78731 512-476-7502 gahcc.org IC2 Institute 2815 San Gabriel St. Austin, TX 78705 512.475.8900 ic2.utexas.edu International Business Institute–Austin Community College 4400 College Park Dr. Round Rock, TX 78665 512-223-0390 austincc.edu/intlbus Italy-America Chamber of Commerce of Texas- Austin Branch 512-914-5313 iacctexas.com Japan-American Society of Greater Austin P.O. Box 9276 Austin, TX 78766 512-656-4731 jasga.org Korean American Association of Greater Austin P.O. Box 201334 Austin, TX 78720 512-917-6141 myaustinkorean.org MexNet Alliance mexnetalliance.org Office of the Governor Economic Development & Tourism P.O. Box 12428 Austin, TX 78711 512-463-2000 gov.texas.gov/ecodev Swedish American Chamber of Commerce Texas-Austin 512-879-4402 sacctx.com Texas Turkish Chamber of Commerce 12400 Amherst Dr., Suite 108 Austin, TX 78727 512-698-3889 ttacc.org United Kingdom Department for International Trade gov.uk/dit University of Texas at Austin International Office 512.471.1211 world.utexas.edu U.S. International Trade Administration Austin U.S. Export Assistance Center 221 E 11th St., 4th Floor Austin, TX 78701 512-916-5940 export.gov/texas/Austin World Affairs Council of Austin 1103 W 24th St. Austin, TX 78705 512-466-0805 wacaustin.org
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