NDTO News Article

North Dakota exporters garner national attention

Efforts to expand North Dakota’s export volume and generate economic growth are gaining national attention.
During a recent meeting of the National Lieutenant Governors’ Association in Seattle, speaker Tom McGinty, deputy director general of the U.S. Commercial Service, highlighted North Dakota as an example of successful collaboration between federal and local trade efforts.

McGinty said the North Dakota Trade Office and the North Dakota-based office of the U.S. Commercial Service are relatively new organizations that already have made a lasting impact on the state’s economy.

Since 2004, the North Dakota Trade Office and Heather Andrea Ranck, the Commercial Service’s North Dakota-based International Trade Specialist, have organized four highly successful trade missions to Taiwan, Australia, Southeast Asia and Europe, McGinty said.

“These trade missions have brought over a dozen rural companies to new export markets and they have yielded millions of dollars in new business to the state,” McGinty told the states’ second-highest ranking officials July 17.

Attending the meeting was Jack Dalrymple, North Dakota’s lieutenant governor and chairman of the North Dakota Trade Office Advisory Board.

“Deputy Dir. Gen. McGinty’s words were a testament to the great export expansion efforts underway here in North Dakota,” Dalrymple said. “It’s nice that we are being recognized for our success, but more gratifying is the fact that we are finding significant opportunities for North Dakota businesses.”

Moody’s Economy.com, a leading independent provider of economic and financial research and analyses, also recognized North Dakota’s trade expansion programs as having a significant positive impact on the state’s growing export volume.

In June, Moody’s analysts said North Dakota is “reaping the rewards of a concerted effort” by the North Dakota Trade Office, a private-public partnership created in 2004 to boost export growth and inject new money into the state’s economy.

North Dakota’s total export value is growing at a rate of 18 percent, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce. Companies working with the North Dakota Trade Office report they have increased their export sales by an average of 35 percent. The nation’s export sales are growing by about 11 percent.

Last year, North Dakota exports of manufactured or processed goods totaled $1.2 billion. That represents a 47 percent increase from the 2001 value of $806 million and is roughly twice the increase of total U.S. exports (24 percent) during the same period, according to U.S. Department of Commerce.

First quarter results for 2006 show that the state’s exports are continuing the growth trend, totaling about $384 million compared to $302 million during the first quarter of last year.

“North Dakota produces some of the highest quality products in the world,” North Dakota Trade Office Executive Director Susan Geib said. “We are finding that if we can bring qualified opportunities to our exporters they will make sales.”