Gov. Jay Nixon today announced the launch of the Export Missouri initiative to help more Missouri companies find new customers and sell their products in overseas markets. Speaking at the annual Growing Global luncheon sponsored by World Trade Center St. Louis, Gov. Nixon said exports play a vital role in growing Missouri's economy and creating jobs for Missouri families. Export Missouri helps to meet one of the recommendations of the Governor's Strategic Initiative for Economic Growth-to develop a "Best in Class" foreign trade initiative.
"My administration has made expanding exports a top priority for a simple reason: the more Missouri goods we sell overseas, the more jobs we create for Missouri families here at home," Gov. Nixon said. "Over the past several years this proactive approach has paid off, with exports of Missouri-made products hitting record highs and our economy continuing to grow. Export Missouri will help us build on this momentum and keep our economy moving forward."
Gov. Nixon has made opening new markets for Missouri goods a top priority of his administration. In addition to leading export missions to China, Brazil, Taiwan, Korea and Europe, the state of Missouri also opened new international trade offices in India, China and Brazil. These efforts helped make the last two calendar years the best on record for international trade by Missouri businesses, with $28 billion in Missouri-made goods and products shipped around the world.
The General Assembly's Fiscal Year 2014 budget followed the Governor's recommendation for a $2.3 million increase to build on this momentum by encouraging small Missouri companies to actively develop business and customers in markets abroad.
Export Missouri will open additional foreign offices in Toronto, Hong Kong and Singapore and provide additional trade specialists in the International Trade and Investment office of the Missouri Department of Economic Development to provide targeted, customized services to Missouri companies to identify key markets and buyers for their products. .
Export Missouri's Global Market Access Program (G-MAP) will assist small businesses with the costs of participating in international trade shows, trade missions and foreign market sales trips.
In addition, Export Missouri will deploy additional on-line resources for Missouri exporters including:
- An online trade counselor to provide exporters information on potential markets and buyers and provide customized recommendations on everything from generating export sale leads to identifying export finance opportunities; ;
- A web-based service for Missouri businesses to showcase their products and identify qualified foreign companies and distributors; and
Gov. Nixon said increasing exports has been a priority of his administration because it creates jobs and economic growth. For every $1 billion in U.S. exports, 6,250 manufacturing jobs are either created or supported. A recent study by the Brookings' Institution showed that exports accounted for 54 percent of output growth in the top 100 metro areas from 2009 to 2012.
Nearly 5,000 Missouri companies, of all sizes in all parts of the state, currently sell their products abroad.