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International Trade is Good for Business

The Missouri Department of Economic Development International Trade and Investment Office will be visiting Cape Girardeau and Southeast Missouri last week providing an opportunity for area businesses to look at new markets for expansion.

The International Trade and Investment Office is a team of experts representing the state of Missouri around the world in 18 key locations to support Missouri businesses as they grow their markets globally. Members of the trade office here in Jefferson City as well as our International Representatives in Brazil, Mexico, and Canada will spend this week touring the State to meet with Businesses and Economic Development professionals to discuss the opportunities to grow Missouri based businesses with an international audience.

In 2018, Missouri was the 26th largest state exporter in the U.S. accounting for $14.5 Billion dollars in goods. Cape Girardeau County accounts for about 2.5% of the total State exports with area businesses exporting $365.8 million in goods to over twenty different counties. With access to Interstate highways, Rail lines, and the Mississippi river at the SEMO Port the opportunity for growing business through international expansion is great for our region.

The Missouri Department of Economic Development Website makes the case for small business to look toward international markets.

Why Export?

Small-to-medium sized business are in a good position to sell to international markets.

Are you looking to make your first export sale or expand into a new foreign market? Each year, thousands of Missouri companies boost their bottom line and competitiveness by meeting world demand for innovative, quality, made in USA products and services.

Here are just a few reasons to pursue export sales:

Demand. More than 95 percent of the world’s consumers are outside of the United States. Your competitors are increasing their global market share, and you can too. The United States is known worldwide for high quality, innovative goods and services, customer service, and sound business practices.

Access. Exporting doesn’t have to be burdensome. The Internet, improved logistics channels, free trade agreements, eCommerce, and the array of available export assistance through the U.S. government and its partners has made exporting more achievable; that’s true for even the smallest businesses.

Profitability. Exporting can be profitable for businesses of all sizes. Whether they deal in services or manufacturing, exporting businesses show higher total revenues, faster total revenue growth and higher labor productivity than their peers that focus exclusively on domestic markets.

Risk Mitigation. Most companies that export have an easier time riding out fluctuations in the U.S. economy, and are more likely to stay in business.

The Number of Small-to-Medium Business Exporters is growing. Small and medium-sized companies account for almost 97 percent of U.S. exporters, and account for the vast majority of growth in new exporters.

Export Resources.  The Missouri International Trade & Investment Office assists exporters through a network of trade offices in key markets worldwide. Missouri’s STEP and GMAP programs can help fund companies’ international marketing efforts. Our office can connect Missouri companies with our partners at the Federal and local levels.

If your business would like to learn more about how you can expand your export activity reach out to the International Trade Office online at or contact your local Chamber of Commerce to make a connection.