|Raleigh, NC -- The U.S. Department of Commerce’s International Trade Administration (ITA) announced recently new export data that shows North Carolina merchandise exports increased 5 percent in the first half of 2012 compared to the same period in 2011, growing from $13.4 billion to $14 billion.
“This is great news for our state as North Carolina continues to thrive as a global economic leader,” said Gov. Bev Perdue. “Nearly 350,000 jobs are supported by exports and trade with hundreds of small- and medium-sized companies in the state conducting business internationally. International exports are an important segment of North Carolina’s overall economy and this growth will aid in our recovery from the economic recession.”
According to the ITA, North Carolina’s merchandise export sales for the first half of 2012 outpaced the 2011 figures for the same period in many top destinations, including Saudi Arabia (up 60 percent), Brazil (37 percent), Mexico (20 percent), Canada (15 percent), and Belgium (14 percent). Key merchandise export categories include chemicals, machinery manufactures, transportation equipment, computer and electronic products, and textiles.
The International Trade Division of the N.C. Department of Commerce works with North Carolina companies to enter worldwide markets and develop export opportunities. Services that international trade experts provide include conducting market research, establishing best market prospects, identifying customers and partners, and other value-added services. The N.C. Department of Commerce maintains offices around the globe to support export activity and to facilitate direct investment in North Carolina. The U.S. Export Assistance Center in Charlotte also works with companies to enhance export opportunities.
Total merchandise exports from all 50 states contributed to a record $2.1 trillion in goods and services exports in 2011, which supported 9.7 million American jobs. Half-way through 2012, U.S. exports are on track to once again exceed $2.1 trillion in value, and will help support the President’s National Export Initiative goal of doubling U.S. exports by the end of 2014.
For more information about the impact of exports in North Carolina, please visit www.trade.gov/mas/ian and the N.C. Department of Commerce at www.nccommerce.com. Businesses can order the Basic Guide to Exporting at www.export.gov/basicguide.