Voice of the Practitioner
Export sales are a critical regional economic development opportunity. Export sales of both products and services bring in additional revenue and value added to the region. Nationally, exports supported an estimated 10.7 million jobs, and exporters pay higher than average wage rates.
From the perspective of regional companies, most of the world market opportunity (over 80% of world GDP) is outside of the US, with the most rapid growth in emerging markets – driven in part by a growing middle class of consumers. Studies indicate exporters grow faster than non-exporters, and diversification into international markets has cushioned many companies from cyclical downturns (in particular during the 2008-9 recession).
Regional EDOs can take actions to assist companies to pursue international opportunities that benefit the region. There are an array of services that are available for exporters, and regional EDOs can connect exporters to these sources of support and fill in service gaps for the particular base of companies in their regions.