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2012 Another Banner Year for Rhode Island Exports

RI One of 29 States to Achieve Record Export Growth in 2012, 4.1% Increase from Previous Year

Growth Continuing in 2013: January Exports Up 26.75%

Providence, RI - Governor Lincoln D. Chafee today announced that 2012 was another positive year for Rhode Island exports, with continued significant growth.

Rhode Island is one of 29 states recognized by the U.S. Department of Commerce's International Trade Administration as having achieved record export growth in 2012. Rhode Island recorded 4.1 percent growth from 2011 to 2012, totaling $2.4 billion in total export value.

The overall growth rate over the past 3 years is 60 percent, and Rhode Island has significantly outpaced overall U.S. increases over that time period. Exports are a considerable driver of job growth, as it has been estimated that one job is created for every $200,000 in exports.

"I am encouraged to see another year of positive growth for Rhode Island exports," Governor Chafee said. "Rhode Island businesses continue to find new markets for their goods and new opportunities overseas, and my administration will continue to work with public and private sector partners to organize trade missions and promote Rhode Island goods and businesses abroad."

Additionally, the growth in exports has continued into 2013, with January figures showing a 26.75 percent increase in exports during that month.

In 2012, the greatest growth occurred among exports of chemicals, machinery, computer electronics, and textiles; exports of these products were up 10 - 14 percent. The only sector experiencing lower value growth was scrap and waste, where tonnage shipped remained steady but the overall market value of the materials themselves declined.

Rhode Island trade missions to Japan, Canada, the Dominican Republic, Israel, and Panama have taken place under the Chafee Administration, with preliminary estimates of $11 million in projected new sales and 125 serious business leads resulting from these missions – and another $5 million in projected new sales from assisting companies with international trade shows.

"Export development is critical for job creation in Rhode Island," said Ray Fogarty, Director of the Chafee Center, Bryant University's International Business Center. "Every $200,000 in exports creates one new job."

"The RIEDC, in partnership with the Chafee Center for International Trade at Bryant University, the U.S. Department of Commerce, and the SBA, assists Rhode Island exporters in a variety of ways on a daily basis," said Katherine Therieau, Director of International Trade for the Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation. "We see remarkable and innovative Rhode Island products and services going all over the globe every single day. This continued notable export growth comes as no surprise. Exports indeed are a key driver of the Rhode Island economy and so beneficial to our companies' bottom lines. So many Rhode Island businesses have profited by expanding into new markets, and we are pleased to have helped them along the way. My office stands at the ready to assist Rhode Island businesses with a wide-range of export promotion programs."

Rhode Island's export success earned recognition from the Department of Commerce, with Under Secretary for International Trade Francisco J. Sanchez sending a letter of congratulation to Governor Chafee.

"The success of your state's exports warrants recognition and I would like to congratulate you for this accomplishment," Under Secretary Sanchez wrote. "The continued growth of American exports is vital to job creation and the success of the U.S. economy. U.S. exports supported 9.8 million jobs in 2012 which represents a growth of 1.3 million jobs since 2009. This growth would not have been possible without your contributions."

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