Home Back Issues June 2011 Small Oregon businesses go global

Small Oregon businesses go global

| Print |  Email
Articles - June 2011
Wednesday, May 18, 2011
Article Index
Small Oregon businesses go global
Page 2
Page 3
Page 4
Page 5

By Ben Jacklet

 

0611_GoingGlobal_010611_GoingGlobal_020611_GoingGlobal_03
Workers at Hydra-Power Systems in Portland build custom manifolds for vehicles for an industrial market that is becoming increasingly global. // Photos by Eric Näslund

 

For Oregon City’s Benchmade Knife Company, the next frontier is China. Not manufacturing there — selling there.

For Redmond-based Mountain High Oxygen & Supply, it’s the Czech Republic.

For Portland’s Columbia Green, it’s Canada.

For Clackamas-based Castor & Pollux Pet Works, it’s South Africa — and China if the rules ever change.

And for Columbia Industrial Products in Eugene, it might be India. Or Brazil. Or maybe both.

As the dollar weakens and overseas economies continue to grow, Oregon-based businesses are scrambling to go global with varying degrees of success. Young companies are moving into international markets for the first time. Veteran firms are following the money into nations once written off as not worth the effort. Some are selling finished products. Others are finding their ways into global supply chains. Still others are exporting First-World expertise to nations with rising fortunes.

It’s all part of a massive global power shift. The International Monetary Fund predicts that 87% of world economic growth over the next five years will occur outside of the United States. The opportunity is vast for exporters selling to China, Brazil, India and South Korea, not to mention Colombia, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, the Philippines, South Africa, Turkey and Vietnam.

Oregon is already a strong exporter. A recent Brookings Institution report identified the Portland metropolitan region as the second-most export-heavy local economy in the nation after Witchita, Kansas. Portland was one of four U.S. cities to double exports from 2003 to 2008, outperforming larger cities such as Atlanta, Phoenix and Miami.

This should count as an advantage, since wages tend to be higher at firms that export and ripple effects can spread the prosperity generated by international trade far and wide. But the bulk of Oregon’s success as an exporter can be traced back to one corporation: Intel. For the small- and medium-sized businesses that make up much of the rest of the state’s economy, going global can be as daunting as it is tempting. “The U.S. has been outsourcing work for a long time,” says Noah Siegel, director of international relations for the City of Portland. “Rebuilding exports is easier said than done.” Barriers to trade include language and cultural differences, protectionist trade policies, prohibitive tariffs, opaque regulations, delayed payments, questionable governance, intellectual property theft and even flat-out bribery.

 



 

More Articles

Risks & rewards of owning triple net investments

Contributed Blogs
Thursday, July 24, 2014
NNNinvestmentBY CLIFF HOCKLEY | OB GUEST CONTRIBUTOR

With the increasing retirements of Baby Boomers, a massive real estate shift has created a significant increase in demand for NNN properties. The result? Increased demand has triggered higher prices and lower yields.


Read more...

What I'm Reading

June 2014
Thursday, May 29, 2014

The CEO of Axiom EPM, Peri Pierone, and the co-founder of McMenamins, Mike McMenamin, share their recent reads.


Read more...

Liquid gold

June 2014
Thursday, May 29, 2014
BY JENNIFER MARGULIS

Don Gentry navigates Klamath Basin water rights.


Read more...

100 Best Green Companies Keynote Speech

News
Friday, May 30, 2014

green2014-069Watch the 2014 100 Best Green Companies keynote speech by Eric Friedenwald-Fishman.


Read more...

Updated: Disrupting innovation

News
Tuesday, July 08, 2014
070814 thumb disputive-innovationBY LINDA BAKER  | OB EDITOR

The New Yorker recently published a sharply worded critique of “disruptive innovation,” one of the most widely cited theories in the business world today. The article raises questions about the descriptive value of disruption and innovation  — whether the terms are mere buzzwords or actually explain today's extraordinarily complex and fast changing business environment. 

Update: We caught up with Portland's Thomas Thurston, who shared his data driven take on the disruption controversy.


Read more...

2014 Best Green Companies to Work For announced

News
Wednesday, May 28, 2014

100BestGreenMore than 350 people turned out today for Oregon Business magazine’s sixth annual celebration of the 100 Best Green Companies to Work For in Oregon.


Read more...

Oregon Business wins awards

News
Monday, June 30, 2014

ASBPEOregon Business magazine won two silver awards for excellence in writing in the National American Society of Business Publication Editors Western region competition.


Read more...
Oregon Business magazinetitle-sponsored-links-02
SPONSORED LINKS