Will present Steve Phillips with prestigious Governor’s International Award
BALTIMORE, MD (March 10, 2011) – Tonight, joining more than 350 Maryland business leaders at the 15th Annual World Trade Center Institute’s International Business Leadership Awards, Governor Martin O’Malley will announce that Maryland’s trade exports – a barometer of the State’s economic health – climbed 10 percent in 2010 to $10.1 billion. The State saw a significant increase in exports to the Korean Republic, which jumped 133 percent to $480 million, and to The Netherlands and Chile, which nearly doubled in 2010 from 2009. Commodities like mineral fuel and oil surged to $378 million, up from $163 million in 2010, and exports of metals like aluminum and copper rose to record highs.
“The significant rise in exports this past year – especially to emerging markets – demonstrates that Maryland remains a fierce global competitor,” Governor O’Malley will say tonight. “This positive news also proves that the targeted tactics we have taken are yielding results, providing businesses with the resources and support they need to explore new markets and expand operations.”
During his remarks, Governor O’Malley will provide an update on the economic development strategies he originally unveiled at the World Trade Center Institute event in 2009. He will also present the Governor’s International Award to Steve Phillips, a third generation waterman and President and CEO of Phillips Foods, for his outstanding leadership in transforming his family’s seafood business into a global company, encompassing eight restaurants, a growing franchise division, 18 seafood processing facilities and offices in North America, Europe, Asia and Australia.
To help small businesses boost exports and take advantage of global trade opportunities, Governor O’Malley launched the Maryland Export Initiative last year which complimented President Obama’s National Export Initiative to increase exports and create two million jobs by 2015. Maryland’s initiative focused on expanding assistance to small businesses through the State’s ExportMD program, creating jobs and leveraging the resources of existing federal and nonprofit partners. In FY 2011, more than two dozen small businesses received $5,000 ExportMD grants to market their products and services abroad, part of more than 100 businesses that have received grants since 2007.
“Increasing exports is critical to achieving sustained economic prosperity and job creation in Maryland and throughout the United States,” said Bill Burwell, Director of the U.S. Commercial Service in Baltimore. “The U.S. Commercial Service is committed to working with Governor O’Malley and helping Maryland companies maximize their exporting potential, enabling them to succeed globally.”
The O’Malley-Brown Administration has taken significant steps to ramp up the State’s international outreach, including opening a number of number of foreign offices in targeted countries, convening the Governor’s International Advisory Council to provide strategic direction and develop a plan to enhance Maryland’s global profile, expanding the capacity of the Port of Baltimore with a new 50-foot berth, and opening the State’s first International Incubator in 2009 at the University of Maryland, College Park to help foreign-owned companies launch U.S. operations.
The efforts have produced significant results. Since 2007, Maryland has attracted more than 40 foreign-owned companies from high-growth countries, including China, Brazil, Korea, Russia, India, Sweden and the United Kingdom, with about one-quarter of these companies locating in the International Incubator. Companies range from Ellickson Software, an Ireland-based supplier of software and hardware to the hospitality industry which has an American location in Baltimore City to Daewoong Pharmaceutical, the largest prescription drug supplier in Korea which has its U.S. operations in Montgomery County.
Over the past two years, the State has opened foreign offices in Russia, India and Colombia to attract foreign-owned companies to Maryland and encourage trade opportunities. The offices, which are opened on a contingency basis with no up-front cost to taxpayers, are part of the State’s network of foreign offices in China (Shanghai), France (Paris), Israel (Haifa), South Korea (Seoul), Taiwan (Taipei), Vietnam (Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City) and the Western Balkans (Montenegro).
In 2009, the State inked a 50-year agreement between the Maryland Port Administration (MPA) and Ports America Chesapeake that will allow the MPA to lease its 200-acre Seagirt Marine Terminal to Ports America. In return, Ports America has agreed to construct a 50-foot berth for the Port of Baltimore that is expected to result in increased business opportunities and larger vessels that will be able to dock at the Port. The partnership between the MPA and Ports America is expected to produce 5,700 new jobs, while the total investment and revenue from this agreement to the State of Maryland has the potential to reach more than $1.3 billion over the life of the agreement and will generate $15.7 million per year in new taxes for Maryland.
Maryland is well-positioned for growth in the global market, with more than 300 foreign-owned companies from 30 countries currently calling Maryland home. Roughly 105,000 Marylanders, or 3.5 percent of the workforce, are employed by foreign-owned firms, with companies headquartered in the Netherlands, United Kingdom and Germany as the top three foreign employers in Maryland.
Maryland’s Office of International Investment and Trade works to stimulate foreign direct investment in the State, offers export assistance for small and mid-sized Maryland companies and coordinates international trade and investment missions and trade show opportunities for Maryland companies. For more information on resources available to business that want to market their products or services globally, visit www.choosemaryland.org.