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Utah Business

World Trade Center Utah identifies opportunities in South Korea, Mexico, India, the United Kingdom and Canada.

5 key global markets for Utah businesses in 2024

This story appears in the March issue of Utah Business. Subscribe

Gearing up for a global leap in 2024? These five countries are emerging as the primary vanguards for Utah companies keen on expanding into new markets.

South Korea

“We’re seeing tremendous interest in South Korea,” says Jonathan Freedman, president and CEO of World Trade Center Utah (WTC Utah). “There are a lot of synergies there.” 

One of these “synergies” is a nonstop flight being established by Delta Airlines from Salt Lake City to the city of Incheon. This will provide a convenient link between Utah business owners and potential Korean patrons, as well as a direct link to the home of the University of Utah Asia Campus. Utah Gov. Spencer Cox will visit the campus as part of a trade mission to South Korea later this year. 

This upcoming trade mission is highly anticipated to open up the country as a lucrative market for Utah business owners. “It will really establish a great corridor for us,” Freedman says. 


“This is a market where, as a state, we’ve been able to put our money where our mouth is,” says Charlotte Serage, manager of trade missions and shows for WTC Utah. Over the last year, Gov. Cox has been involved in the creation of the Joint Utah Mexico Partnership initiative (JUMP), which Serage describes as “an informal, bilateral agreement between the state of Utah at a sub-national level and the state of Mexico at a national level.” 

In February, figures released by the U.S. Department of Commerce announced that Mexico has officially overtaken China as the leading source of goods imported to the United States for the first time since 2002. “Mexico has everything to gain from replacing China as the U.S. manufacturing hub,” says Jonathan Bench, international business attorney at Harris Sliwoski LLP. “As the manufacturing grows, the middle class grows, the purchasing power grows, and that benefits U.S. companies that want to settle in Mexico.”

“As the manufacturing grows, the middle class grows, the purchasing power grows, and that benefits U.S. companies that want to settle in Mexico.”


India recently replaced China as the most populous country in the world. And if you’re a business looking to sell goods, Bench says population matters. 

Purchasing power comes down to not only the number of people in a particular nation but also the number of people in a particular nation’s middle class. In the developing country of India, this middle class has been growing.

The United Kingdom

In a post-Brexit world, difficulties with European Union trading have motivated the United Kingdom to sign Memorandums of Understanding (MOUs) with other countries. In June of 2023, they entered into one with the state of Utah, making the U.K. a promising market for Utah business owners. 

“They have not been able to sign formal trade agreements with the U.S., so they’ve resorted to signing MOUs with states because they can make progress in the meantime while they work on bigger agreements with the U.S.,” says David Carlebach, COO at WTC Utah. 


“Canada is a really important export market for the United States as a whole,” says Nicole Earnshaw, manager of international programs at WTC Utah. “The dollar amount of trade going back and forth between the U.S. and Canada each day is staggering. Canadians spend something like 60 percent of their disposable income on U.S. goods and services.”

WTC Utah has an upcoming trade mission to Canada scheduled for spring 2024. 

Rachel Barnes graduated with a BA from Brigham Young University in 2022 as valedictorian of Ancient Near Eastern Studies. She got into journalism when she realized it was a career that encapsulated her true passion: briefly and intensely becoming very, very interested in a niche topic, learning everything she can about it, and then telling people all about it.