Updated April 25 at 4:56pm

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ITA: R.I. exports up 18% in 2011

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WASHINGTON – Rhode Island’s $2.3 billion in exports of merchandise in 2011 increased 18 percent over the previous year, topping the national average, the International Trade Administration announced on Friday.

Key merchandise-export categories include waste and scrap, primary metal manufactures, chemicals, miscellaneous manufactures and machinery manufactures.

“The growth in Rhode Island export numbers help demonstrate that there’s every incentive for U.S. companies to be pursuing export opportunities,” Keith Yatsuhashi, director of the ITA’s U.S. Commercial Service in Rhode Island, said in a news release. “Foreign buyers have a high appreciation for U.S. brand-name products and services, and there’s no better time than now to start exporting.”

Rhode Island’s 2011 merchandise export sales increased to several destinations, including Germany, up 97 percent; Egypt, 58 percent; Turkey, 57 percent; France, 29 percent and China, 27 percent.

Nationally, merchandise-export growth was up 16 percent in 2011 over the previous year.

“Eighty-five percent of world economic growth over the next five years will take place outside of the United States,” said Francisco Sánchez, ITA’s under secretary for international trade. “As the U.S. economy builds momentum, we must continue to equip U.S. businesses with all the necessary tools to increase exports that support millions of high-paying jobs across the country.”

The ITA’s U.S. Commercial Service connects U.S. companies with international buyers through export counseling and a variety of export services. The ITA is part of the U.S. Department of Commerce.

Interested companies should contact the Providence office at (401) 528-5104 or visit www.export.gov/RhodeIsland.

rhode island exports, keith yatsuhashi, international trade association, Francisco Sánchez, u.s. department of commerce, increased trade, export growth

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