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NDTO News Article

North Dakota ranks among nation’s best in export expansion

North Dakota exporters had a banner year in 2006, increasing the state’s export sales by 27 percent – nearly twice the national average of 15 percent. Only six other states enjoyed greater export growth last year.

“Our success in the international marketplace is a testament to the ingenuity and drive of North Dakota’s manufacturers and processors,” North Dakota Trade Office Executive Director Susan Geib said. “North Dakota companies are known around the world for producing high-quality goods and services which plays a major roll in our continuing export expansion.”

North Dakota’s exports of manufactured and processed goods totaled $1.508 million in 2006 – an increase of $32 million in the state’s economy. North Dakota exported to 139 foreign destinations last year. One in every seven manufacturing workers in North Dakota depends on exports for their jobs.

Machinery topped North Dakota’s international sales, making up 54 percent of all exports. Value-added crops and processed foods collectively generated 21 percent of all export sales.

The state’s largest market in 2006, by far, was NAFTA member Canada, which received exports of $727 million (48 percent of North Dakota’s total exports that year). Other top markets included the European Union, Australia, Mexico, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Spain and Japan.

Since July 2005, the Trade Office has coordinated six trade missions representing 42 companies and three universities. Companies that have worked with the Trade Office for at least one year have reported increasing the value of their export sales by 35 percent. Trade Office members last year reported increasing their annual export sales by nearly $42 million.

Export sales by Trade Office members directly supported 212 jobs and generated $1.8 million in state tax revenue, according to an economic impact study developed by Regional Economic Models Inc.

Sources: The North Dakota Trade Office, Regional Economic Models Inc. and the Office of Trade and Industry Information, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce.