RALEIGH – Gov. Bev Perdue announced Monday that exports in 2011 surged to a record high with increased global demand supporting job growth in the state. North Carolina’s merchandise exports grew 8% (or $2.1 billion) to $27 billion, surpassing the peak of $25 billion in 2008.
“North Carolina’s record level of exports in 2011 is a clear indicator that our efforts to stimulate the economy by seeking out new markets and new opportunities for trade and investment are paying off,” said Gov. Perdue. “My top priority of creating jobs is supported by our focus on making North Carolina globally competitive.”
North Carolina saw growth in most of its export sectors with manufacturing continuing to dominate. North Carolina’s top ten exports accounted for 79% of its total shipments in 2011.
The largest exports for North Carolina are chemicals, machinery equipment, transportation equipment, computer and electronic products, and textiles and fabrics. North Carolina’s top five trading partners are Canada, China, Mexico, Japan, and Germany.
North Carolina has been highlighted in national press for its NC Passport to Export initiative which is a collaboration of local, state, and federal export partners focused on helping small and medium size businesses find overseas markets for their products and services. Last September, the Small Business Administration made its national announcement of State Trade and Export Promotion Grants (STEP) in North Carolina.
As part of Gov. Perdue’s budget announced last week, she is recommending $500,000 in additional funding to the N.C. Department of Commerce International Trade Division to support the activities of small manufacturing companies seeking to expand jobs by selling products in the global marketplace. The funds will be used to assist these companies with marketing products and accessing customers in key international markets.
This week is World Trade Week across the United States.
Top 5 Merchandise Exports
Chemicals $4.8 billion
Machinery Equipment $3.9 billion
Transportation Equipment $2.6 billion
Computers & Electronics $2.4 billion
Textiles & Fabrics $2.0 billion
Top 5 Trading Partners
Canada $6.3 billion
China $2.6 billion
Mexico $2.0 billion
Japan $1.6 billion
Germany $1.1 billion