When most people think of International trade, they think about trade deals between the United States and other countries, but Georgia has its own trade portfolio as well and the state ranks number 11 in the nation for international exports.
According to Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp, Georgia’s 2018 international trade numbers set a new record with exports surpassing $40.5 billion — a 9 percent increase over 2017. Total trade between Georgia and the world spanned 223 countries and territories, reaching a new high at $139.3 billion.
“Trade is a vital part of our state’s economy, and it is exciting to see Georgia products in such high demand across the globe. I thank Governor Perdue and Governor Deal for prioritizing Georgia’s success on the international stage and their commitment to expanding our state’s trade industry,” said Kemp. “With nearly 90 percent of exporters classified as small businesses, the 2018 trade numbers showcase the strength and diversity of Georgia’s economy. I look forward to building on today’s announcement and working with private-sector partners to explore new markets for hardworking Georgians.”
Georgia reclaimed its rank as the eleventh largest exporting state in the nation, and in the past decade, Georgia exports have grown by 71 percent. Companies in Georgia exported to 212 unique countries and territories. The top five markets for Georgia products were Canada, Mexico, China, Germany, and Singapore. Imports grew to $98.7 billion in 2018, and Georgia ranks seventh among U.S. states for imports and total trade.
Aerospace remains the leading export industry in Georgia with exports totaling more than $9.1 billion. Among U.S. states, Georgia ranks fifth for aerospace exports. Exports of medical devices and pharmaceuticals grew 13 percent to a record $1.7 billion. Agricultural exports held steady at $4.2 billion, supported by strong poultry sales and growth in dairy, cotton, and peanut exports.
The Georgia Department of Economic Development’s International Trade Division works to bolster Georgia exports and brand the state as a competitive source of products and services. The team provides businesses with the global insight and connections needed to successfully diversify their customer base.
“Global trade has a truly statewide impact, and companies in every region of the state contribute to Georgia’s export growth,” said trade division Commissioner Pat Wilson. “I couldn’t be more proud of the efforts of our International Trade team who work closely with companies, communities, and economic development partners statewide to ensure Georgia’s continued competitiveness.”
Georgia maintains representation in twelve strategic markets, including Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Europe, Israel, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Peru, and the United Kingdom and Ireland. These representatives play a critical role in facilitating international connections that generate economic success. In fact, 60 percent of Georgia exports are sold to markets where the state has a presence.
“Georgia’s export story is fundamentally about small businesses finding global success,” said trade division deputy commissioner for international trade Mary Waters. “Our team assists hundreds of companies each year, half of which employ fewer than twenty. These entrepreneurial businesses are poised to grow faster and create higher-paying jobs across Georgia because of stronger international sales.”
To read the full 2018 international trade summary, click here.