PROVIDENCE – Rhode Island was one of 29 states to achieve record export growth in 2012 with a 4.1 percent increase over 2011, Gov. Lincoln D. Chafee announced Tuesday.
The Ocean State’s 4.1 percent increase in exports was recognized by the U.S. Department of Commerce’s International Trade Administration as “record export growth,” totaling $2.4 billion in total export value from 2011 to 2012.
“I am encouraged to see another year of positive growth for Rhode Island exports,” Chafee said in prepared remarks. “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.”
According to a release, the state’s overall growth rate over the past 3 years was 60 percent. During that time, Rhode Island has “significantly outpaced” the overall U.S. increase during that time.
For 2012, the state’s greatest growth occurred in the exports of chemicals, machinery, computer electronics and textiles. Exports in these areas rose 10 to 14 percent year over year. The only sector experiencing lower value growth was scrap and waste, where tonnage shipped remained steady but the overall market value of materials declined, said the release.
“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 growth of 2012 has continued into 2013, said the release, which quoted January figures showing 26.75 percent increase in exports during the month.
“We see remarkable and innovative Rhode Island products and services going all over the globe every single day,” R.I. Economic Development Corporation Director of International Trade Katherine Therieau said in prepared remarks. “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.”