Governor Martin O'Malley will join more than 300 Maryland business leaders tonight at the 18th Annual World Trade Center Institute's International Business Leadership Awards and announce that Maryland's trade exports climbed to a record $11.8 billion in 2013. Trade to countries that Maryland has strategically targeted, like United Arab Emirates and Brazil, grew by 39 percent and 22 percent, respectively. Key merchandise export categories include transportation equipment; chemicals; computer and electronic products; machinery manufactures; and waste and scrap. Maryland's strong performance in 2013 helped the U. S. reach an all-time record for exports of U.S. goods and services, reaching $2.3 trillion in 2013 and supporting nearly 10 million American jobs.
"The continued increase in Maryland exports, along with the Port of Baltimore hitting record cargo levels and BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport growing its international passenger traffic, demonstrates that Maryland remains a fierce global competitor," said Governor O'Malley. "Ultimately, our strength and global competitiveness depends on our willingness to make the investments that a modern economy requires to create jobs."
"Exporting is paying off for many Maryland businesses that continue to "make locally and sell globally," said Bill Burwell, Director of the U.S. Commercial Service in Baltimore. "Ninety-five percent of the world's consumers reside outside of the United States. If your business is not exporting, it's time to get on board--because not selling globally is just like leaving money on the table. We can help you navigate the avenues of exporting."
At the conclusion of his remarks, Governor O'Malley will present the Governor's International Award to Ronald Peterson, President of The Johns Hopkins Hospital and Health System. In addition to the Governor's Award, there are also seven awardees of WTCI's International Business Leadership Awards: Domino Sugar -- Stuart FitzGibbon, Refinery Manager; Honest Tea -- Seth Goldman, Cofounder, President, & TeaEO; Institute for Genome Sciences -- Claire Fraser, Director; KEYW -- Len Moodispaw, President & CEO; MedImmune -- Bahija Jallal, Executive Vice President; Phenix Technologies -- Frank Vitéz, President; and Prometric -- Michael Brannick, President & CEO.
To boost the State's exports and help companies take advantage of global trade opportunities, Governor O'Malley launched the Maryland Export Initiative in 2010 to complement President Obama's National Export Initiative. In 2012, Maryland was awarded a total of $1.2 million in grants from the U.S. Small Business Administration to increase the number and amount of Export MD grants, a State program that provides funding to small and mid-sized businesses to help them market their products and services overseas. As a result of the increase in funding, 89 Maryland small businesses have benefitted from the program, enabling them to add a combined 400 new jobs and generate more than $180 million in increased export sales.
The O'Malley-Brown Administration has taken significant steps to ramp up the State's international outreach. In 2011, the Governor led two historic economic development missions -- one to China, South Korea and Vietnam and one to India -- that netted a combined $145 million in trade and investment deals for the State and the companies that were part of the delegation. In 2013, the Governor led a trade mission to Brazil, which resulted in EMS S/A, Brazil's largest domestic pharmaceutical company, announcing its new U.S. headquarters in Montgomery County and plans to invest $200 million into the new operation.
The State has a number of foreign trade offices in targeted countries, including China (Shanghai), Israel (Tel Aviv), France (Paris), Africa (Nigeria); India, Russia, South Korea (Seoul), Taiwan (Taipei), Vietnam (Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City), Brazil, and United Arab Emirates (Dubai). With the exception of the offices in China and Israel, all the State's foreign offices operate on a contingency basis with no up-front cost to taxpayers.
Maryland's Office of International Investment and Trade works to stimulate foreign direct investment in the State, offers export assistance for small and mid-sized Maryland companies and coordinates international trade and investment missions and trade show opportunities for Maryland companies. For more information on resources available to business that want to market their products or services globally, visit www.choosemaryland.org