High global demand for Kentucky-made products and services have pushed the state's export activity into high gear. Gov. Steve Beshear today announced Kentucky ranks second in the nation for export growth in the first half of 2013.
With more than $12.1 billion in exports so far, Kentucky's exports are up 12.6 percent from last year's mid-point total of $10.8 billion. The state's growth significantly outpaces the national average of 1 percent for the first half of 2013.
"Kentucky is coming off a banner year for exports, and now with a mid-year total of $12.1 billion in exports, we are on pace to improve on last year's record-breaking total of $22 billion," said Gov. Beshear. "We have made the goal of increasing exports a key component of our economic development strategy. Ranking second in the nation in export growth is a reflection of those efforts and is a testament to the quality of Kentucky-made goods and services."
Companies in the Commonwealth have exported to 192 countries so far this year, with the top destinations including Canada ($3.9 billion, up 8.2 percent), Mexico ($895 million, up 4.4 percent) and the United Kingdom ($830 million, up 17.9 percent). Kentucky's top export categories include motor vehicles, aerospace products and parts, pharmaceuticals and medicines, basic chemicals, glass and glass products.
Kentucky's mid-year export pace trails only New Hampshire. Washington is third.
Gov. Beshear has placed a heavy emphasis on boosting export activity in the Commonwealth. In late 2010, Gov. Beshear created the Kentucky Export Initiative (KEI), streamlining the efforts of trade-related agencies and organizations across the state to better facilitate international trade opportunities for Kentucky businesses.
"A lot of the credit for Kentucky's success really goes to the teamwork of the partners of the Kentucky Export Initiative, which have been tireless in their efforts to help businesses in the Commonwealth sell more goods and services to the rest of the world than ever before," said Cabinet for Economic Development Secretary Larry Hayes. "Under Gov. Beshear's leadership, we will continue to do everything we can to boost exports and strengthen the economy here in the Commonwealth."
The KEI partners include the following: Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development, World Trade Center Kentucky, Kentucky Association of Manufacturers, Kentucky Chamber of Commerce, Bluegrass Economic Advancement Movement, Kentucky Association of Economic Development, Kentucky Small Business Development Center, U.S. Commercial Service and Northern Kentucky International Trade Association.
Earlier this summer, Gov. Beshear led a delegation of KEI partners and Kentucky companies on its first joint trade mission, visiting Canada, the state's largest trading partner.
For more information on the Kentucky Export Initiative, visit www.kyexports.com.