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Gov. Nixon Unveils New Resources For International Trade

(Rachel Lippmann/St. Louis Public Radio)

Businesses that want to expand to new international markets or start exporting their goods for the first time are getting a boost from Gov. Jay Nixon's administration.

Nixon announced his "Export Missouri" initiative in St. Louis on Friday, at a luncheon honoring 20 years of the World Trade Center - St. Louis. The new program uses $2.3 million in state funding to open new trade offices in Canada and southeast Asia; offset the costs to companies of international trade shows or trade missions; and new online resources.

"We will continue to sell more Missouri goods overseas, set more export records, and create more jobs and more prosperity right here at home," Nixon said. "No matter if you're a small business, a family farm, or a Fortune 500 company, we are all in a global economy."

Tim Nowak, the head of the World Trade Center, said the new resources can help lessen the intimidation factor for a company that wants to think about exporting.

"There's language issues, legal issues, political issues. There's many risks involved. What this partnership is really meant to do is mitigate some of those risks and bring a comfort level to a company," he said.

Nixon did not say if he would request the additional funding in next year's budget, but Nowak said he understood that the new resources were an ongoing program.

State data show that through the first six months of the year, Missouri companies had exported nearly $6.7 billion worth of goods and services. 

Follow Kate Essig on Twitter: @KateEssig

Follow Rachel Lippmann on Twitter: @rlippmann

Rachel is the justice correspondent at St. Louis Public Radio.