A successful strategic plan often calls for determining areas of strength and building upon it. That’s exactly what St. Louis is doing based on the state’s strong record of trade with China.

In 2011, Missouri's  trade with China grew 18%. In 2010 growth was even stronger increasing  44%.

The growth in 2011 was valued at $1.2 billion, with copper scrap, fan parts, lead ores, aluminum scrap, and semiconductor devices among China’s most demanded Missouri commodities.

Exports translate directly into jobs. Since 2010, 21% percent of Missouri’s total employment, or 774,300 jobs can be tied to trade-supported jobs.

Part of the job growth was brought about due to programs and initiatives created by the World Trade Center of St. Louis. This group is focusing on ways to keep the momentum going.  

“By offering to become a freight hub for China, St. Louis is positioning itself as a spot for international activity,” explained Tim Nowak, executive director for the World Trade Center of St. Louis.  “The Lambert-St. Louis International Airport is set to become a Midwest hub for trade, increasing the $1 billion in goods that Missouri exports to China annually.”

Steps to ensure success include a national partnership with the U.S. Trade and Development Agency. St. Louis was selected to be involved in the Making Global Local initiative. This partnership will  enable targeted reverse trade missions to St. Louis, connecting interested local companies with foreign buyers.