Coal Anchors West Virginia Exports (Exponent Telegram)
Local exports lucrative for W.Va. economy
We’ve all heard the talk about needing to compete in the global economy.
Apparently, state companies and leaders have been listening.
Statistics show the Mountain State’s global exports are growing stronger, with a 25 percent growth noted from 2011 to 2012.
As Staff Writer Roger Adkins reported in Monday’s edition, West Virginia exported goods or natural resources to 136 countries in 2012. The costs of those exports were $11.3 billion, an increase of $2.3 billion over the previous year.
And state officials expect the future to be brighter.
“Hundreds of West Virginia companies are already engaged in exports and we expect to see even more growth. This means the creation of more jobs and stronger economic development,” Stephen E Spence said. He is director of the Internal Division of the state Department of Commerce.
Spence attributed the growth to easier access to world markets made possible by trade agreements as well as the Internet.
It’s important to note that exporting isn’t just for big companies. Spence said smaller companies can be competitive in the world market, especially because of the weak dollar when compared to other currencies and the high quality products produced in the state.
“There is a high demand for American-made products around the world because they are recognized as high quality, and innovative products. U.S. companies are known for their customer focus and for their good business practices,” Spence said.
Also fueling the export surge: The state’s coal reserves, which remain popular overseas as more and more efforts are made to outlaw them in the U.S.
Coal exports were a record $7.4 billion, according to Commerce Secretary Keith Burdette.
The state’s natural resources have been a driving factor in the state’s strong trade relationships with Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, India, China, Brazil, South Korea, the United Kingdom, Turkey, Japan and France.
And state officials believe the state’s rich oil and gas fields can lead to even more export growth in the near future.
All of this should help to offset other declining revenue streams and the fear of losing some of the domestic coal market because of EPA regulations.
We applaud state leaders’ efforts to market the Mountain State to the world. Perhaps now if only Washington would listen.
See article here.