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World Trade Magazine picks '10 best U.S. cities for international.' (Little Rock, AR; Louisville, KY; Memphis, TN; Norfolk, VA; Orlando, FL; Portland, OR; Raleigh, NC: Sacramento, CA; Salt Lake City, UT; San Antonio, TX)

World Trade Magazine just announced the U.S.A.'s Best Cities for International Companies. These are the cities whose "political, business and civic leaders recognize a single truth: that the global economy may be, for better or for worse, the only game in town" noted Will Swaim, editor, World Trade Magazine.

And the winners are: Little Rock, Arkansas; Louisville, Kentucky; Memphis, TN; Norfolk, VA; Orlando, FL; Portland, OR; Raleigh, NC; Sacramento, CA; Salt Lake City, UT; and San Antonio, TX.

The cities were selected by a panel of seven who judged the cities on their performance in five areas: access to international markets; international orientation; organized support; general business vitality; and brains or intellectual infrastructure.

Each category will give you an idea of what it takes to be competitive in the global economy.

Access to International Markets. International transportation infrastructure (foreign trade zones, intermodal facilities, and rail lines) and proximity to markets.

International Orientation. The ethnic characteristics of the city, its tolerance for diversity and its world-class attractions.

Organized Support. Organized public and private sector support for international business.

General Business Vitality. Health of the local economy, the number of companies already exporting or importing, sources of capital, and international business support services (insurance, freight forwarding). Three other major areas of concern were quality of life, cost of doing business, and quality of the local labor force.

Brains. Intellectual infrastructure that companies require to compete globally. Looked at local schools and R & D facilities.

What was their key to success? "Everybody who ponders the forces behind urban globalization agrees: A 'hand and heart' approach -- lots of hard work and idealism -- is key to achieving world-class status." Those that choose to ignore international trade risk putting their community's future economic health at risk argues Swaim.
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Publication:Nation's Cities Weekly
Date:Jan 13, 1992
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