Missouri exports are growing at a record-setting pace this year and trade with markets in Asia is up more than 24 percent this year alone.
Tim Nowak, executive director of World Trade Center St. Louis, said low paying manufacturing jobs in Asia have created a consumer market for Missouri products.
Nowak said that, in turn, translates to jobs in St. Louis.
“The R&D, and the engineer and the manufacturing jobs that are supported by a company finding new markets for its products, those are higher paying jobs,” Nowak said. “And it does contribute to business development and job growth.”
Nowak also said the China Hub Commission is continuing to work on bringing a China cargo hub at Lambert and they hope to make another legislative push at some point in the future. In 2011, a package of tax incentives to help create the hub failed to gain enough support in Jefferson City.
“The amount Missouri exported to China back in the early 2000s was below $100 million,” Nowak said. “We’ll export more than a billion [dollars] to China this year.”
Nowak also pointed to a trade agreement with South Korea, the fourth largest customer for Missouri goods, as a key driver in expanded exports.
Follow Tim Lloyd on Twitter: @TimSLloyd