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Patrick Jankowski On Global Trade And Foreign Direct Investment

Trade and foreign investment provide the Houston economy with a crucial buffer against the pain of weak oil and natural gas prices.


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The number of Houston-area companies involved in global trade has more than tripled over the past three decades.

This week, the Greater Houston Partnership released its first annual report on the region’s ties to the world economy.

Patrick Jankowski is the Partnership’s senior vice president for research. He joins Andrew Schneider this week on the Bauer Business Focus.



Why did the Greater Houston Partnership decide to prepare this report?

“There’s concern out there right now about the drop in oil prices [and] what effect that’s going to have on Houston’s economy going forward. The idea was to…see if there’s another engine of growth…which can offset the downturn or the weakness that we’re seeing in oil and gas.”


How does Houston get the benefit of acting as an import hub for goods that are manufactured elsewhere?

“Too often, people associate an import as being…a job lost overseas.  But what happens with an import is [that] quite often, it is an input to the manufacturing process here in the U.S.”


What role does foreign direct investment play in the Greater Houston economy?

“Companies which actually own manufacturing operations or office operations in Houston…by them investing in here, they’re injecting new capital here into the region…and so it tends to add to the ability to export goods and services from the region.”