The Department of Commerce is committed to the market growth of businesses throughout South Carolina. Commerce works with companies of all sizes to assist in developing and growing export markets throughout the world. With a presence in three foreign countries and close relationship with the U.S. Commercial Service, the state has the ability to assist companies looking to export a product to nearly any corner of the world. Commerce facilitates these efforts by organizing export focused seminars and workshops with ally organizations throughout the year.
South Carolina Export Facts
- In 2013, South Carolina’s exports to 202 countries topped $26.1 billion, up 3.9% from 2012, ranking the state 17th in the U.S. for export growth.
- For the first time, China surpassed Canada and Germany as the state's top export partner. In 2013, exports to China from the Palmetto State surged.
- China was the state’s top destination for exports which surged nearly 50 percent to $4.9 billion in the value of products purchased from South Carolina companies. Canada ranked second followed by Germany, Mexico, UK, Australia, Japan, Brazil, South Korea and Belgium.
- The state’s top 10 export industries last year were vehicles, machinery, rubber, electrical machinery, plastics, aircraft, paper and paperboard, optics, organic chemicals and wood pulp.
- For the third consecutive year, South Carolina ranked first among U.S. states in tire exports, holding nearly 30 percent of the share of U.S.-made exported tires. Additionally, the Palmetto State ranked second in the export of automobiles to world markets.
Export Assistance Program
Commerce’s Business Services team is committed to increasing global opportunities for South Carolina companies. Their international trade expertise can help companies of all sizes identify potential markets and customers through a number of export services that have proven to be successful:
- Organizing seminars and conferences and offering trade counseling
- Guidance and market research on product export potential, methods, procedures and logistics
- Organizing international trade missions with companies for overseas sales meetings
Additionally, through its three foreign offices and close relationship with the U.S. Commercial Service, the state has the ability to assist companies looking to export a product to nearly any corner of the world.
Do you want to expand your global reach? The South Carolina Department of Commerce's export development program can help you do just that.
S.C. International Trade Show Assistance Program
If you have a small business in South Carolina and are interested in exporting your products and services at an international trade show, then apply for a $2,500 reimbursement.
Ten companies will be reimbursed for booth space at any domestic or international trade show taking place before June 30, 2014. All funds must be approved in advance and will be distributed as reimbursment to each company.
Interested applicants must submit the completed application to firstname.lastname@example.org. The application deadline is 5:00 p.m. EST on Wednesday, March 7, 2014. Applications received after this deadline will not be reviewed. Only one application per company. Applications will be reviewed and approved by a committee to determine the export potential of the candidate. Reimbursement must be submitted on or before 5:00 p.m. EST on June 30, 2014.
In addition to the South Carolina Department of Commerce, The South Carolina International Trade Coalition includes federal, state and private organizations that are all involved in promoting international trade.
- U.S. Export Assistance Centers of South Carolina, U.S. Commercial Service
- S.C. State Ports Authority
- S.C. Department of Agriculture
- S.C. Forestry Commission
- S.C. District Export Council
- S.C. Small Business Development Center
- World Trade Center, Charleston
- ECI-Find New Markets
- City of Columbia's Office of Economic Development
- College of Charleston, Global Trade Initiatives