With 95 percent of the world's consumers located outside of the United States, Connecticut companies need to think in terms of a global marketplace to remain competitive.
Profitable export opportunities are not limited to big companies, nor is international business necessarily high risk. A well-executed export strategy can both increase profits and reduce business risk.
On average, businesses that export grow faster, generate more sales, create more jobs and even pay higher salaries than those that are not involved in international trade. By having a global market of customers, a company can ride out regional economic instabilities.
Many companies in Connecticut have taken advantage of exporting. There are currently over 5,000 exporters in Connecticut. This translates into tens of thousands of jobs in Connecticut dependent on export sales. It is estimated that for every $200,000 of exports, one job is created. A typical sale by a small or medium-sized company is $100,000 to $500,000.
The economic impact of exporting in Connecticut is significant. Connecticut exports over $15 billion of products annually. These figures do not include services or products like software, which are not counted in shipment figures.
Although many know of the substantial exports of major corporations such as Pratt & Whitney, these exporting companies are large and small, manufacturing everything from aircraft engines, medical devices and many consumer products. These companies are in cities and towns across Connecticut, employing people and paying taxes.
In the past four years, nine Connecticut companies have been recipients of the highest honor given to U.S. Exporters, the President's "E" Award. In 1961, the President's "E" Award was created by President Kennedy to encourage U.S. businesses to sell their products globally.
Connecticut "punches above its weight" and continues to be on the cutting edge of exporting, and has utilized many resources for companies to be successful in building their global market, but even more opportunities exist.
What is Connecticut's future in international trade?
We don't have a crystal ball to predict what is ahead for Connecticut businesses. But, companies of all sizes do control the impact of exports in the state. The decision to partner with overseas companies opens the door to many great resources the state has to offer to help build these relationships.
The $15 billion of products exported annually in Connecticut is a testament to the success of Connecticut businesses pursuing international trade. Connecticut has been and should continue to be a power in the global marketplace.
One invaluable event Connecticut companies can gain knowledge from is Connecticut Export Week 2017, April 24-28. Export week has a diverse range of events across Connecticut, each focusing on different industries, international markets and exporter know-how.
For more information on Connecticut Export Week 2017 and to register for the events, go to www.ctexportweek.com.
John Schuyler is the chairman of the Connecticut District Export Council.