The Brookings Institution has chosen Charleston to participate in an export initiative that will provide an export plan specific to the Lowcountry’s products and businesses. The organization will work with World Trade Center Charleston on the project.
Published Oct. 8, 2012
The Brookings Institution chose Charleston and seven other communities to participate in an initiative that will develop export plans focused on each region’s assets, officials announced today.
The Brookings Institution will work with World Trade Center Charleston, which will prepare an export market assessment, an export strategy, implementation plan and policy memo within nine months.
“Exporting has always been an important part of South Carolina’s economy, so it’s exciting to see Charleston chosen as one of the eight communities by Brookings for this export initiative,” said Bobby Hitt, secretary of the S.C. Department of Commerce, in a news release. “This project will serve as a catalyst in identifying Charleston-area firms that are ready to sell their products around the globe.”
In Charleston, 19,000 jobs are tied to exporting, and aircraft products and parts were the largest transportation equipment exported in 2010, according to the Brookings Institution; the Charleston metro area ranks eighth nationally for growth in export values.
The Brookings Institution also chose San Antonio; Chicago; Columbus, Ohio; Louisville-Lexington, Ky.; San Diego; Des Moines, Iowa; and Tampa Bay, Fla.
Charleston’s selection is the second time the Brookings Institution has highlighted the Lowcountry this year. In May, it released a report ranking the Charleston-North Charleston-Summerville metro area first nationally in manufacturing job growth from 2010 through 2011.
Manufacturing jobs grew by 14.4% in the Lowcountry; nationally, manufacturing jobs grew by 2.7% for the same period. The metro area also outpaced the national average for the number of employees per plant. Local plants employ about 80.5 people per plant versus the national average of 39.9, according to 2009 figures.