Mayor Parker spent her first day in South Africa meeting with the local media to talk about business opportunities in Houston. She also led a “Doing Business in Houston” seminar for local investors.
Parker called KUHF from Johannesburg. She says there are already 14 South African companies that have their U.S. headquarters in Houston.
“South Africa makes many of the vehicles we drive in the U.S. And there are a lot of companies that are suppliers to the value chain for creation of those vehicles. Medicine is a growing area, obviously it’s a huge area for us, but a growing area here, as is clean energy and the renewables.”
Parker is in South Africa because she was invited to be a delegate to the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group Mayors Summit.
The C40 brings together city leaders from different countries to discuss climate change solutions.
Parker says she extended her trip to include the trade mission.
“We have one of the hottest economies in the United States, we are one of the most affordable big urban metros in the world. And the sectors that fuel Houston’s economy are sectors that are of great interest to the business community around the world. So my job is to simply open doors, to generate media when we’re in these countries.”
Parker says they’re also meeting with airport officials in Johannesburg and Cape Town to talk about expanding international flights from Houston.
Parker typically makes one trade mission trip each year.