Participation in Hannover Messe is Critical to Team South Carolina

April 6, 2016

W. Ford Graham is Director of the Department of Commerce’s Division of International Strategy and Trade  in South Carolina

While South Carolina boasts a rich history in manufacturing, its position as a leader in the manufacturing renaissance can really be attributed to a significant transformation of the state’s economy. At one time, South Carolina was known primarily as a textile state. While a thriving textile industry still exists, the manufacturing of advanced products and materials has shifted South Carolina’s economy into high gear.

Illustrating this is the state’s rapid manufacturing job growth. In fact, since 2010, manufacturing employment has increased by more than 13 percent in the Palmetto State, a figure which leads the Southeast. And, last year alone, more than 9,680 new manufacturing jobs were recruited to South Carolina, accounting for more than half of all new jobs brought to the state.

As a result of this manufacturing success, South Carolina continues to set records with its annual export sales totals. In 2015, the state’s total export sales topped $30 billion, setting a record for the sixth consecutive year. Fueling this international trade growth are South Carolina’s burgeoning aerospace and automotive industry sectors. Last year, the Palmetto State enjoyed a more than 176 percent increase in the export sales of aircraft, while also remaining the nation’s top exporter of both completed passenger motor vehicles and tires.

To build on this economic momentum, Team South Carolina recognizes the importance of further developing relationships with industry leaders from all corners of the globe. In fact, the state’s economic development strategy is similar to that of any good sales organization. We go where the customers are and build relationships to do what we do – which is sell South Carolina.

That’s why participation in Hannover Messe is so critical to the Palmetto State. More than just a spectacle for the planet’s top names in manufacturing, the five-day exhibition provides a great setting for economic developers from all over the world to meet and strengthen relationships with a variety of industry leaders.

In addition to promoting our state for foreign investment projects and helping South Carolina businesses reach international markets, the event also allows our delegation to learn about the latest innovations within industry. As a state that aims to be on the cutting edge, the ability to provide our firms exposure to the latest and greatest is paramount.

As Team South Carolina continues to strengthen relationships with global industry leaders, the Palmetto State’s reputation as a state that’s ‘Just right’ for business will continue to advance around the world, resulting in a prosperous, high-flying economy for many years to come.