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Exports and Overseas Development

​Did you know that small and medium-sized firms make up 90 percent of Kentucky’s exporters and that most of these companies have fewer than 20 employees? Studies show that exporting companies grow twice as fast and are able to pay higher wages than those that don’t export.

Snapshot of Kentucky's Exports

  • Kentucky’s 2013 exports set a new all-time annual record, with $25.29 billion in sales of Kentucky-made products and services.
  • With exports to 198 nations, the 2013 record represents a 14.3 percent growth from 2012, more than 6X the U.S. average growth rate of 2.1 percent. Aerospace products and parts topped the chart with $4.4 billion in export sales. Aerospace products and parts were second, with $5.63 billion in export sales. Motor Vehicles and parts were second, with $5.6 billion, while resin/synthetic rubber came in third, accounting for $1.37 billion in exports.
  • Kentucky’s top trading partner is Canada, with $7.7 billion in products and services, with Mexico ($1.9 billion), United Kingdom ($1.8 billion), China ($1.3 billion) and Brazil ($1.3 billion) rounding out the top five.
  • Kentucky ranks 2nd highest among the 50 states in percentage increase in export growth for 2013.
  • Kentucky’s exports generated nearly $11.3 billion in gross domestic product during 2012.
  • 18.8 percent of Kentucky’s manufacturing jobs are supported by exports.

Are You Ready To Start Exporting?

The Commonwealth has a long tradition of excellence in its goods and services. We are proud to share our products and our hard work with the world. Kentucky’s exporters range from small to large, from experienced to novice. Each of them helps to ensure a strong future for our great state by bringing the innovation, quality and uniqueness of Kentucky products to the global marketplace.

The Kentucky Export Initiative was created to bring together agencies and organizations in Kentucky that help facilitate international trade opportunities for Kentucky exporters. Our goal is simple - to increase Kentucky exports, which will lead to new Kentucky jobs and create diversified markets for Kentucky products.