Now, more than ever, it is important for Arizonans to patronize Arizona-based companies. City governments, previously enamored of hiring big, out-of-state firms, now are looking closer at local companies for contracts. Organizations, like Local First Arizona, which encourage local businesses, are seeing record growth (now over 2000 members).
While we are encouraging purchasing from local businesses, Arizona businesses have to learn how to market their products beyond our borders. The largely untapped global market is critical to Arizona’s long-term economic viability. The Arizona International Growth Group (AZIGG) hosted a workshop at Sky Song on June 16, which demonstrated how the future market Arizonans should be worldwide.
“The Build Your Business with BRICS (Countries)” workshop focused on changing global demographics. Arizona’s population is around 6.5 million. The Valley grew 39% from 1997-2006. But population growth has slowed here and Phoenix has slipped from 5th to 6th largest US city. The US population growth is dwarfed compared to many other countries. India has over 20 cities with populations over one million. Indonesia and Brazil, which we seldom hear about, is the world’s third largest democracy with 246 million and 204 million, respectively.
But, as importantly, the BRICS countries (i.e., Brazil, Russia, India, Indonesia, China and South Africa) have young and vibrant populations (e.g. median age in India is 25), and rising incomes and GNPs.
The middle class in China is anticipated to number 300 million by 2030. The GDP Forecast predicts China will be # 1 in the world, India #3, Brazil #4, Mexico #5, Russia #6, and Indonesia #7. Meanwhile the US would slip to #2. Even Nigeria, the current butt of jokes about email scams, with its energy, chemical, and agriculture resources, is expected to be #11 by 2050.
While the media tends to dwell on the countries that hate America, most of the world loves everything American. These increasingly well-off populations represent a huge market for apparel, automobiles, medical and construction equipment, entertainment, and expertise in marketing, energy, and infrastructure development.
There are other organizations, like AZIGG (e.g. Arizona Commerce Authority, Phoenix Committee on Foreign Relations), which help Arizona companies broadened their markets The key point made at the workshop is that Arizona businesses have to stop building fences around their business operations; they have to eliminate the stereotypes, and learn about new cultures and markets if they expect to prosper in the future.