State sets record in export values - - The News for South Mississippi

State sets record in export values

JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

Doing business with Mississippi companies is setting a new record when it comes to the value of goods being shipped out of state, destined for other countries. The value of those exports reached a record high of $11.8 billion for 2012, which is nearly $2 billion more than the previous year.

That puts Mississippi in the top 29 states for export growth. Rose Boxx, bureau manager of the international trade office with the Mississippi Development Authority says a big reason is because of economic growth in foreign countries.

"The middle class, specifically in Asia and Latin America growing and spending money, consuming, therefore creating projects for each economy of those countries," said Boxx.

Boxx says machinery, lumber, chemicals, oil and gas are the major exports.

Moon says, "We're very fortunate in Mississippi to have a very diverse manufacturing base," said Jay Moon, president of the Mississippi Manufacturers Association.

Moon says 95 percent of the world's markets are outside of the U.S. which provides an opportunity for home grown products.

"It's important for particularly medium to small sized manufacturers that don't have as much experience in exporting begin to look at that as an opportunity to increase their market share," said Moon.

Out of the top ten export countries for Mississippi, seven are in Latin America. The number one export destination last year was Panama. The country received more than $2 billion in exports from Mississippi companies.

"This is a great opportunity to showcase the state, to actually make sure that people abroad and domestically understand that we have a lot to offer," said Boxx.

Boxx says those offerings combined with an increase in small business exports trickle down, providing for a stronger company or business.

"They can not only stay afloat and survive, they can hire more people and therefore more jobs for the state and therefore more wealth for the state," said Boxx.

Neighboring states have also experienced a growth in exports which adds to a national export record at $2.2 trillion, supporting nearly 10 million jobs in 2012.

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