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Houston's geographic location has proven to be one of its best assets. Centrally located on the Gulf Coast, Houston is a strategic gateway for cargo originating in or destined for the U.S. West and Midwest. Houston lies within close reach of one of the nation's largest concentrations of consumers. More than 17 million people live within 300 miles of the city, and approximately 60 million live within 700 miles. Ample truck, rail and air connections allow shippers to economically transport their goods between Houston and inland points.
A dynamic port helped fuel the Houston area's development as a center of international business and trade. But companies that do business internationally also find Houston attractive because of its well-developed financial infrastructure, skilled work force and diverse population. Ample space and favorable conditions for industrial development, as well as for cargo handling, make Houston a choice location for industry.
Houston is a gateway for commerce with countries around the world, combined with deep resources of leadership in energy, medicine and information technology, International trade directly or indirectly supports more than one-third of all jobs in the Houston metropolitan area.
Houston’s international trade is facilitated by one of the largest consular corps in the nation – the city consistently ranks among the top three U.S. cities in number of consulates.
Houston has 17 sister-city relationships promoting business and investment opportunities across six continents: Australia (1), Asia (6), Europe (7), Africa (1) and Americas (2).
Houston-based companies account for over half of all Texas companies that export abroad.
In 2006, Houston ranked as the nation's fourth largest customs district with more than $162.2 billion in total trade.
The Port of Houston Authority received the 2007 President's "E Star" Award for export service, in recognition of its continuing support of export growth in the U.S. business community for at least five years. PHA was among only four U.S. organizations to receive the prestigious award.