Colorado's sweet spot in the global marketplace

The state excels in the aerospace and health care sectors

Globalization will likely continue to grow, and Colorado sits in a good spot, says Tom Clark, chief executive of Metro Denver Economic Development Corp.

Health care and wellness

Denver already has the largest medical center between Los Angeles and Chicago, with National Jewish and now the giant Anschutz Medical Campus and the Anschutz Health and Wellness Center. The sector is recession proof and it can be global, says Clark. “If you are looking to keep an economy going, health care and wellness is a great place to be.”

Aerospace

This sector has a giant presence in metro Denver and Colorado Springs. Clark expects more.

“We’re probably going to get a spaceport here,” says Clark. “We are all pretty confident that orbital spacecraft will take off from a runway instead of being shot directly up.”

He also sees fertile ground in Colorado’s vacant spaces, especially the San Luis Valley, for drone testing.

Another perspective: Canadian

Colorado and Canada are best buddies in the global marketplace. Trade between the two includes energy, cattle and machinery, plus engineering and technological expertise. The two-way trade supports 141,000 Colorado jobs, according to the estimate of the Canadian consulate in Denver.

“We are your No. 1 customer,” says Stéphane Lessard, the consul general of Canada at the Denver office. But he describes a two-way street. “It’s the way the value chains are constructed. So we trade with each other, but we increasingly make things together.”

Much of what Canada sells to the United States, including Colorado, incorporates components from south of the border. Consider a hamburger with bacon and all the extras. Five provinces and seven states, including Colorado, can contribute, with Arizona producing the lettuce, Colorado the beef, Ontario the mushrooms and so forth.

The Canadian government supports the North American Free Trade Agreement. “In our view, it’s a success story,” says Lessard. “Could it be improved? Anything is possible. It’s a 20-year-old agreement. But it has achieved its core objective.

“We are in many ways an integrated North American market that has created jobs and wealth for its members.”

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