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|Articles - June 2011|
|Wednesday, May 18, 2011|
Page 1 of 5
By Ben Jacklet
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.
Sunday, February 15, 2015
BY LINDA BAKER | OB EDITOR
As the investigation against the governor moves forward, those of us in the news business should reflect on our own potential for subverting the democratic process.
Friday, February 27, 2015
PHOTOS BY JASON E. KAPLAN
Images from the 2015 celebration of Oregon's great workplaces.
Monday, February 09, 2015
BY MEGHAN NOLT
VIDEO: Gifford's Flowers brings family approach to PSU-area shop.
Friday, March 27, 2015
BY ROBERT MULLIN
A new energy-sharing agreement sparks concerns about independence and collaboration in the region's utility industry.
Friday, March 20, 2015
BY OB STAFF
Join us to celebrate and network with Oregon’s best green workplaces!
Thursday, March 26, 2015
BY LINDA BAKER
Everyone knows cell phones and driving are a lethal combination. The risk is especially high for teenage drivers, whose delusions of immortality pose such a threat to us all. Enforcement alas, remains feeble; more promising are pedagogical approaches aimed at getting people to focus on the road, not their devices.
Wednesday, February 25, 2015
BY LINDA BAKER | OB EDITOR
The big news at Oregon Business is we’re getting a ping pong table. After reading the descriptions of the 2015 100 Best Companies to Work For in Oregon, a disproportionate number of which feature table tennis in the office, I decided it was time to bring our own workplace into the 21st century. It was a tough call, but it’s lonely at the top, and someone has to make the hard decisions.
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Generations of students and graduates have been plagued by the question: What is my true calling in life? Four alumni from Corban University’s Hoff School of Business who graduated in different decades say the school helped them find the answer by giving them a practical, well-rounded education.
It’s happening whether anyone’s ready or not. Businesses here in Oregon and across the U.S. are already experiencing the effects of the largest generational shift in recent history, and these changing tides will impact every level of the workplace — from a company’s executive leadership to its cultural core.
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Like the advent of the locomotive, the cloud creates business opportunities that simply weren’t possible before now. Get up to speed fast in May at an exciting cloud-empowered Portland event.
Registration is now open for Portland Business Alliance’s Annual Meeting, one of the largest business gatherings in Portland each year.
The Commission helps to advance the professionalism, equality and efficiency of Oregon's judicial branch of government.