Thursday, February 19, 2009
Exports from the state of Pennsylvania rose by 18 percent from 2007 to 2008, raising the total worth of international shipments to $34.4 billion. Prime exports include coal, steel, chemicals and machinery. Deputy Secretary of International Business Development Wilfred Muskens says while Pennsylvania's two top buyers remain Canada and Mexico, several overseas markets like China and Brazil have been gaining on them. The United Arab Emirates and Spain were two other markets that saw extravagant growth over the 2008 fiscal year. Muskens says that it is Pennsylvania's "aggressive" business practices that allowed for the increase. By putting trade representatives in 13 foreign markets, state trade offices were able to help small- and medium-sized companies succeed globally. "We don't typically help the large corporations," says Muskens. "They have their own networks... they really don't need help from the state."