Houston Region’s international trade tops $250 billion in 2014

A major new study into the area

 A new study from the Greater Houston Partnership reveals the value of imports and exports the region handles each year has quintupled since 1998.


The Greater Houston Partnership has released its first annual report measuring the region’s ties to the global economy. The study — titled “Global Houston” — finds that the value of annual trade Houston handles has quintupled since 1998, rising from $50 billion in imports and exports to $253 billion.

“Yes, you see a little bit of drop off in the last few years,” said Patrick Jankowski, the partnership’s senior vice president for research. “That’s the result of us importing less oil, and that’s the result of the oil that we do import, we’re paying less for it.

Jankowski, who delivered the results at a gathering of business and policy leaders at the J.W. Marriott Galleria, also noted striking increases in foreign direct investment across the region. “If consumers vote with their feet, corporations vote with their capital,” he said. “And these corporations have made decisions — when they look at every place in the world they can possibly invest, they’ve decided they’re going to allocate their capital to Houston.”

The report estimates foreign-owned firms have made at least $12.5 billion worth of capital investments in Houston since January 2011.