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Georgia a top-10 exporting state for the first time

Georgia was ranked among the nation’s 10 top exporting states last year for the first time, Gov. Brian Kemp announced Monday. Georgia businesses exported $38.8 billion in goods in 2020, reaching 215 countries and territories and suffering the lowest rate of export contraction among the top-10 states, despite the economic effects of the coronavirus pandemic. “Over the last year, hardworking Georgians showed their tenacity and their determination to transform obstacles into opportunities,” Gov. Brian Kemp said. “These numbers are yet another example of their strength.”

Georgia’s total trade last year reached $137.7 billion, spanning 221 countries and territories.

The state’s top five export markets were Canada, Germany, China, Mexico and Singapore. Several export markets experienced significant growth, with exports to Germany increasing nearly 50%, followed by China and Hong Kong at 45% and 41%, respectively.

Increased exports to China reflect purchases made under a trade agreement the U.S. and China signed in January 2020. The return of market access for U.S. poultry proved a huge benefit to Georgia producers.

About two-thirds of Georgia trade involves the 12 strategic markets where the state maintains representation: Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Europe, Israel, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Peru, and the United Kingdom.

“Georgia’s network of international representatives around the world provides our state’s businesses with a unique resource,” said Pat Wilson, commissioner of the Georgia Department of Economic Development.

“Particularly during 2020 — when needs, supply chains, and conditions were changing rapidly — our international offices provided timely information that proved to be an incredible asset for our state’s growers, manufacturers, and business community as a whole.”

About 90% of Georgia merchandise exports are manufactured goods, and the state’s manufacturing exports have grown by more than 30% over the last 10 years.

Aerospace products, the state’s second-largest manufacturing industry, remain the state’s No. 1 export, totaling $9.98 billion in 2020. Aerospace exports to Hong Kong surged more than 140% last year, while Germany remains the top customer for these products.

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