WV Commerce Secretary: Exports Up; Changes Coming to a Foreign Trade Office
State Commerce Secretary Keith Burdette says the state is on another record-breaking pace for exports.
Burdette, who also serves as the executive director of the state Development Office, told state lawmakers recently received numbers from the federal government show export growth so far this year at 31.2% above last year’s record growth.
“That’s a very strong, encouraging number for the state,“ Burdette said.
West Virginia led the country last year in export-related growth and was second to Louisiana the year before. The strongest factor is coal exports.
“It (the growth number) would suggest that we are actually selling significantly more coal overseas than we’re selling in country,“ Burdette said.
The state Development Office has put resources toward helping West Virginia companies explore export opportunities.
Burdette says relationships continue with companies in foreign countries to get them to expand here.
He says that and the export market still have opportunities for growth.
Burdette also told state lawmakers this week:
• Elementis Specialties, which makes flow products that help in a variety of industries, is going to expand in West Virginia. The British company already has an operation in Charleston but will soon be in the Bayer Tech Park in New Martinsville.
• A marketing campaign continues to highlight West Virginia companies in United Airlines Hemispheres magazine.
• The state will soon publish the second edition of Edge Magazine, a West Virginia business magazine, which is sent to top CEOs around the country.
• The West Virginia European trade office in Germany is undergoing some changes after both staffers recently decided to take other jobs. Burdette says the state is also about to lose its lease. He says a new plan is being formed for the Germany office, “I am very encouraged with how to make the effort stronger.“