ATLANTA—Gov. Brian P. Kemp on Feb. 15 joined the Georgia Department of Economic Development (GDEcD) in announcing that the State of Georgia achieved a record-breaking year for international trade. In 2021, Georgia’s total trade reached $166.11 billion across 223 countries and territories. As reported by GDEcD’s International Trade team, Georgia set a record for exports of $42.36 billion in 2021.
“Being ranked seventh in total trade value is no small feat, and I applaud our state’s trade team and Georgia businesses for these results,” said Governor Kemp. “With more than 85 percent of our state’s exporters categorized as small businesses, Georgia’s global trade success story once again shows their resiliency, tenacity, and the reason they are considered the backbone of our economy. You can make anything, anywhere in Georgia, and reach markets around the world. I’m especially proud to see that manufacturing and agricultural exports come from every single county in the Peach State.”
In 2021, the state’s top five trading partners were China, Mexico, Canada, Germany, and Korea. Among Georgia’s top 10 markets, trade with India and Vietnam experienced the most growth in 2021. Georgia ranks 7th in the U.S. for dollar value of trade. Supported by Georgia’s deepwater ports and ideal location in the Southeast, top traded products in 2021 were motor vehicles, civilian aircraft, and parts for gas turbines.
“The 2021 Trade Report confirms that global demand for Georgia’s goods has returned to pre-pandemic levels,” said Georgia Department of Economic Development Commissioner Pat Wilson. “Thanks to our International Trade team, international representatives, and our economic development partners across the state for their dedicated work not only to help Georgia businesses reach their goals, but to maintain our status as a leader in the global marketplace.”
With Georgia companies exporting to 215 unique export destinations, Georgia ranks 12th in the U.S. for dollar value of exports. In addition to the International Trade team, GDEcD’s Center of Innovation works in tandem with key industries to develop processes and maximize production success, including in manufacturing, logistics, AgTech, and aerospace – all of which contribute to Georgia’s exports. Aerospace products remain Georgia’s No. 1 export, totaling $9.19 billion in 2021, and Georgia is the third-largest aerospace exporter in the U.S. Exports of agriculture and forestry products increased by 13 percent in 2021 to $4.9 billion. Imports in 2021 reached $123.7 billion, growing 25 percent from 2020.
“We were happy to see that Georgia had 20 percent growth in total trade after a challenging year,” said GDEcD Deputy Commissioner of International Trade Mary Waters. “I am particularly pleased with the nine percent growth in exports over the past year. The content in the 2021 Trade Report is a true testament to the Georgia companies who faced many uncertainties and continued to persevere sharing their goods with the world.”
The state’s international trade efforts are led by a team based in Georgia as well as representatives in 12 international markets around the world. Georgia’s international representatives play a critical role in facilitating trade and introducing Georgia exporters to new global customers. Nearly 60 percent of bilateral trade and 52 percent of exports involved markets where Georgia maintains full-time representation.
Support from Georgia’s International Trade office is one of the complimentary benefits of doing business in the state and is available to all Georgia-based businesses. For upcoming trade shows, additional exporting resources and information about the state’s International Trade services, visit www.georgia.org/international/trade.
To read the full 2021 trade report, click here.