ST. LOUIS (KSDK) - Gov. Jay Nixon launched an initiative Friday to help Missouri companies find new customers by selling their products to markets overseas.
The state of Missouri has opened new international trade offices in India, China, and Brazil. It is also leading export missions to China, Brazil, Taiwan, Korea and Europe. Over the past two years the state shipped $28 billion in Missouri-made goods and products around the world.
Nixon's foreign trade initiative, called "Export Missouri," is designed to help small businesses with the costs of partaking in international trade shows, trade missions, and foreign market sales trips.
The governor asked for an additional $2.3 million for the 2014 budget to allow small Missouri companies to develop business and customers overseas.
Additional foreign offices will open in Toronto, Hong Kong and Singapore in order to provide trade specialists in the International Trade and Investment office of the Missouri Department of Economic Development targeted, customized services to Missouri businesses and to identify key markets and buyers for their products. Export Missouri will also organize online resources for exporters that include online trade counseling and web-based services.
A recent study by the Brookings' Institution demonstrated that exports account for 54 percent of output growth in the top 100 metro areas from 2009-2012. Close to 5,000 Missouri companies currently sell products overseas.
For every $1 billion in U.S. exports, 6,250 manufacturing jobs are created or supported.
For more information about Export Missouri, visit www.mo.gov.
NewsChannel 5 intern Calandra Jones-Jackson contributed to this report.