Making Global Local -- St. Louis Aiming to be Gateway of Opportunity
In 2011, Missouri's trade with China grew 18%.
Jan. 22, 2013
A successful strategic plan often calls for determining areas of strength and building upon it. That’s exactly what St. Louis is doing based on the state’s strong record of trade with China. The growth in 2011 was valued at $1.2 billion
A successful strategic plan often calls for determining areas of strength and building upon it. That’s exactly what St. Louis is doing based on the state’s strong record of trade with China.
In 2011, Missouri's trade with China grew 18%. In 2010 growth was even stronger increasing 44%.
The growth in 2011 was valued at $1.2 billion, with copper scrap, fan parts, lead ores, aluminum scrap, and semiconductor devices among China’s most demanded Missouri commodities.
Exports translate directly into jobs. Since 2010, 21% percent of Missouri’s total employment, or 774,300 jobs can be tied to trade-supported jobs.
Part of the job growth was brought about due to programs and initiatives created by the World Trade Center of St. Louis. This group is focusing on ways to keep the momentum going.
“By offering to become a freight hub for China, St. Louis is positioning itself as a spot for international activity,” explained Tim Nowak, executive director for the World Trade Center of St. Louis. “The Lambert-St. Louis International Airport is set to become a Midwest hub for trade, increasing the $1 billion in goods that Missouri exports to China annually.”
Steps to ensure success include a national partnership with the U.S. Trade and Development Agency. St. Louis was selected to be involved in the Making Global Local initiative. This partnership will enable targeted reverse trade missions to St. Louis, connecting interested local companies with foreign buyers.
Trade Missions Useful Tool
“We are working with World Trade Center and its Asia Trade Desk to position St. Louis for further business opportunities in Asia through specialized training and high‐level trade missions.” said Denny Coleman, CEO of the St. Louis County Economic Council.
A recent trade mission occurred last November in Hangzhou, when more than a dozen businesses and two universities participated in the 5th U.S.-China Transportation Forum, held jointly by the U.S. Department of Transportation and the Chinese Ministry of Transport.
Also last year executives from Boeing, Monsanto, Emerson, Innoventor and Nestle Purina PetCare completed a trade mission to Indonesia.
Specialized training is taking the form of a new online Chancellor’s Certificate in International Trade that is being offered through the University of Missouri.
The certificate is a six-month online training program, providing participants with the opportunity to learn practical aspects of international business from experienced industry professionals.