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 2012, South Carolina’s exports to 198 countries topped $25.3 billion, up 2.23% from 2011, ranking the state 17th in the U.S. for export growth.
- Canada was the state's top destination with exports valued almost $4 billion. Germany ranked 2nd followed by China, Mexico, the United Kingdom, Australia, Japan, Brazil, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.
- The state’s top 10 export industries last year were vehicles, machinery, rubber, electrical machinery, plastics, optics and medical equipment, paper and paperboard, organic chemicals, wood pulp and cotton yarn and fabric. Of the top product sectors, the three experiencing the largest percentage increase were optical and medical equipment at 19% increase, rubber products at more than an 8.6% increase and plastics at an 8.2% increase.
- South Carolina ranked first among U.S. states in tire exports, holding nearly 30% of the share of U.S. made exported tires for the second consecutive year in a row. South Carolina also ranked second in exports of gas turbines and automobiles to the world.
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.
Click here for a list of upcoming export-related conferences, seminars and events!
State Trade and Export Promotion (STEP) Program
The STEP program for South Carolina seeks to increase the exporting activity among small and disadvantaged businesses. The project will serve three types of businesses: 1) Those that have never exported but want to investigate; 2) Those that have exported but with limited success; 3) Those that are experienced exporters.
Interested applicants should review this information prior to completing the following:
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