ST. LOUIS — Gov. Jay Nixon touted a new initiative to increase state business international exporting at the World Trade Center St. Louis’ “Growing Global” luncheon today.
The plan for the initiative — Export Missouri — Nixon says, will do the following:
- – open additional foreign trade offices in Toronto, Hong Kong and Singapore to increase Missouri’s international business presence to 11 countries on five continents;
- – hire more trade specialists who will provide “customized” services to businesses to help them hone in on “key markets and buyers for products;”
- – establish a global market access program to help fund businesses’ participation in international trade shows, trade missions and foreign trade trips; and
- – boost online resources for Missouri exporters to provide information on potential markets, export trends, customized recommendations and trade regulation navigation.
Nixon says that with the approval of the state legislature, $2.3 million in new resources were put to aid small businesses and improve regional and global markets. Export Missouri, Nixon says, will increase business internationally for the 5,000 Missouri companies exporting to only one foreign market as well as the 40 percent of Missouri manufacturers exporting globally.
“We need to help companies that are exporting on a limited basis expand into new markets and we need to help Missouri businesses who aren’t yet exporting their products to take the plunge,” Nixon says.
Nixon says three years ago, about 600 leaders were brought together to develop a strategic growth initiative. He added many of those leaders were in the room he was speaking in.
The result of that process, he says, was a blueprint for building an economy of the future.
Nixon added 2011-2012 was the best time for Missouri international trade and exportation, stating $28 billion of state products were transported worldwide.
Brittany Ruess is a reporter for The Missouri Times and the SEMO Times, and a graduate of Webster University. To contact Brittany, email brittany@themissouritimes, or via Twitter @brittanyruess.