Utah Gov. Cox visited Middle East on a trade mission | Opinion

A delegation of 64 people, including Gov. Spencer Cox, visited Israel and the United Arab Emirates to discuss trade and economic innovation with world leaders.

Natalie Gochnour

Editor’s Note: Natalie Gochnour, David Eccles School of Business Associate Dean and Deseret News contributor, traveled with a delegation of business and community leaders on a trade mission led by the World Trade Center Utah to Israel and United Arab Emirates (UAE). Here is an insider’s look at what occurred on the trade mission in the first of a six-part series. She was joined by Gov. Spencer Cox and others and here focuses on Utah’s emerging role as the Crossroads of the World.

People often describe Utah as the “Crossroads of the West.” It’s a fitting moniker given the state’s central location in the interior western United States. Utah lies halfway between Canada and Mexico and roughly equidistance from the Pacific Ocean and Continental Divide. U.S. Interstates 15, 70, 80 and 84 all pass through the state and the Salt Lake City International Airport serves as a major hub for one of the largest airlines in the world.

Even Utah’s past conveys a place of connection; the Lincoln Highway, Pony Express and transcontinental railroad all connected people through the Beehive State.

I thought about the crossroads’ slogan as I boarded a flight with a 64-person strong, governor-led delegation headed to Israel and United Arab Emirates. The delegation included Gov. Spencer Cox, legislative leadership, state government leaders and business and community representatives.

World Trade Center Utah, which handles the planning and logistics for Utah’s trade missions, has upped the ante on Utah’s tagline. They say their job is to, “Make Utah the crossroads of the world, one business at a time.”

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It’s an ambitious statement, but I’m hearing it more and more and beginning to think it has staying power.

Consider Utah’s global reach

Utah exported $18.1 billion in products last year to countries all around the world. This places Utah’s exports per person well above the U.S. average.

Each year, approximately 830,000 international visitors come to Utah for our snow, red rock and other attributes.

Utah’s language proficiencies are well known, as is Utah’s cultural familiarity because of the large percentage of Utahns who have lived out-of-country for volunteer and military service.

And, Utah embodies the international Olympic spirit, having welcomed the world in 2002 and currently vying for a future Olympic Winter Games.

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Source:: Deseret News – Utah News

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