U.S. Department of Commerce Under Secretary Fancisco Sanchez today congratulated Gov. Jack Dalrymple and the state of North Dakota for significant achievements in expanding the state's export sales.
Eleven states achieved double-digit growth in annual exports last year, and North Dakota ranked fourth among them with a 26-percent increase. North Dakota's exports increased from $3.39 billion in 2011 to $4.29 billion in 2012.
"U.S. exports supported 9.8 million jobs in 2012," Sanchez, the under secretary for international trade, said in a letter to Dalrymple. "This growth would not have been possible without your contributions."
For the past seven years, North Dakota has targeted international business expansion as part of its overall strategy to diversify and grow the state's economy. In 2005, the North Dakota Trade Office (NDTO) was formed to help businesses succeed in the global marketplace. The NDTO, a private-public partnership, coordinates trade missions and reverse trade missions, conducts international market research and provides international business education and other services to emerging and experienced exporters. The NDTO is guided by an advisory board led by Lt. Gov. Drew Wrigley.
"North Dakota's reputation for producing high-quality products is growing all the time in markets all over the world," Dalrymple said. "We will continue our focus on expanding North Dakota's business opportunities in high-demand foreign markets."
Last year, North Dakota businesses shipped their products to more than 140 foreign countries. One in every seven manufacturing jobs in North Dakota is dependent on export sales. North Dakota's leading merchandise export products include machinery, processed foods and electronics. The state's largest foreign markets include Canada, Mexico, Australia and Russia.
"North Dakota's exceptional export growth, year over year, is a testament to the hard work and determination of our exporting companies and the state's commitment to seeing through on our global business opportunities," NDTO Executive Director Dean Gorder said. "North Dakota companies continue to boost their bottom line and diversity their customer base by pursuing new sales abroad."