Business executives can’t be waiting around for a government entity to change Arizona’s international success. It just doesn’t work that way. But government can hinder or help.
For instance, Arizona legislators passing SB1070 and SB1062 damaged Arizona’s international standing. People from around the world — and not just Mexico — continue to ask, “Why do people in Arizona dislike immigrants?” Globally minded executives must speak out as they did before Governor Brewer vetoed SB1062, a clear sign of progress.
Why will bills like SB1062 be a problem regarding globalization for any state considering them? It’s because people with different skin color and religion are always the ones who suffer the most from discrimination. Like any company with a PR program, Arizona needs to find a way to flip the script and demonstrate that the state needs and wants immigrants.
On the positive side, taxation changes advocated by public policy initiatives of the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry have helped to improve the competitiveness of Arizona companies and create a more welcoming environment for foreign investment. Leaders like Glenn Hamer (Arizona Chamber) and Steve Zylstra (Arizona Technology Council) are public-private partnership heroes.
For business leaders reading this, how can you connect to more global business? Help set the tone for Arizona by speaking out against discrimination and the perception of discrimination against foreign nationals. And on the business side of things, jump in!
If not now, when? Arizonan Stephen Beschloss posed that question last year, demonstrating that the time to strike is now. The wealth shifts are happening.
There are many valuable global resources in Arizona to connect with and that are available to help your efforts. Here are some:
Canada: Canada Arizona Business Council (CABC), led by Glenn Williamson, provides “hands-on” support and inspiration for business development between Canada and Arizona.
Mexico: Margie Emmermann is the executive director of Arizona Mexico Commission, supporting a binational policy drive for the Arizona-Sonora region. The commission enables the opportunity to capitalize on the opportunities the region has to offer.
More Countries: The Arizona Consular Corps acts as a forum for the accredited consuls in Arizona by supporting fellow consuls and consulates in their respective diplomatic outreach; by building relationships with governments and community; and fostering business, educational and cultural endeavors.
Exporting: The U.S. Commercial Service is a trade promotion arm of the U.S. Department of Commerce’s International Trade Administration. U.S. Commercial Service professionals in over 100 U.S. cities and in more than 75 countries help U.S. companies get started in exporting or increase sales to new global markets. In coordination, the District Export Council is a 30+ member council of international trade experts appointed by the U.S. Secretary of Commerce who support exporting initiatives within each region.
Education: Thunderbird Online provides online courses and executive certificates to busy professionals seeking to continue learning.
Study Abroad: CEA Study Abroad creates and facilitates opportunities for academic achievement, global competence and personal growth through quality international education.
Banking: A few local banks have the ability to support global expansion, including Alliance Bank of Arizona, with resources that can help with export-import lending. »
Insurance: Capital West Insurance offers a variety of insurance products and risk management solutions to individuals and businesses growing globally.
Technology: Valor Global Services supports the changing technology infrastructure of companies growing globally.
Marketing and Sales: Growth Nation helps companies grow globally and locally with every kind of marketing and sales support.
City-to-City Connections: Phoenix Sister Cities, Scottsdale Sister Cities and other Sister City organizations create people-to-people connections between Arizona residents and their sister cities through commercial, educational, cultural and artistic exchange programs and events that inspire global, long-term, international partnerships and business opportunities
Foreign Policy: Phoenix Committee on Foreign Relations (PCFR) assists leaders in Arizona to respond more effectively to a rapidly changing world.
International Visitors: Arizona Council for International Visitors hosts international visitors in Arizona in cooperation with the U.S. Department of State and Global Ties U.S.
Refugees: Welcome to America Project provides furniture, basic necessities, education and additional resources to newly arriving refugees in Phoenix.
Global Citizenship: New Global Citizens inspires youth to be engaged global citizens.