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Thursday, April 12, 2012

Exports Create Jobs!

The push to boost sales of Rhode Island goods around the U.S. and the world
News Release from State Representative Donna Walsh

Providence, R.I- April 11, 2012:  Business owners told the Joint Committee on Economic Development that with the expansion of overseas markets there is a major increase in sales and a boost in economic growth. By finding an overseas market for products produced here in Rhode Island, small business owners have expanded sales and that has led to more Rhode Island jobs and opportunities. Whatever Rhode Island produces, there is a market out there for it somewhere.

Representative Donna Walsh, Co-chair of the Joint Committee on Economic development, described the importance of exports to the Rhode Island economy stating that Rhode Island exports totaled $2.3billion in 2011, an increase of 18% over the previous year, better than the national average. Much of the growth can be attributed to the work of the Chafee Center for International Business at Bryant University

Ray Fogarty, Director of Bryant University's Chafee Center for International Business spoke in depth about international business and how it affects the state’s economy and the country.

“Exports create jobs!” was the emphasis of Fogarty’s speech.  Fogarty spoke about how exports represent 31% of the total economic growth in Rhode Island over the past 22 years.  Not only have R.I. exports grown by 53% over the past two years, but they have increased the revenues from $1.5B to $2.3B between 2009 and 2011.

Bryant University’s Chafee Center for International Business not only works towards helping businesses grow but as Fogarty stated, it is the “World Trade Center in Rhode Island.” Having the power to watch the grown of the economy in the state is one of the main points emphasized by Fogarty.

There is a direct correlation between increased exports and job creation according to President Machtley.  “Double the exports in 5 years and then 7500 jobs will be created.”

Mark S. Hayward, District Director of the U.S. Small Business Administration shared his views about Rhode Island and was extremely pleased with advances in exports and international trade. As he stated, “There are good things happening in R.I. in regards to small business.” 

He proudly noted how Alex and Ani’s nationally renowned jewelry designer, Carolyn Rafaelian had received the award for Small Business Person of the Year.

A. Ray Thomas, Associate Director of the Chafee Center for International Business said that Rhode Island’s export performance shows the strength of recovery here in Rhode Island” in R.I.’s challenging business climate is what Thomas had to say.

Representative Walsh stressed that by enhancing the ability of state businesses to grow their export sales, we open doors and give opportunities for job growth.

Ray Fogarty also said it is imperative to make it easier to do business in the state and do business internationally.

Alex and Ani’s CEO, Giovanni Feroce was able to speak on behalf of his organization. Coincidentally enough, the international roots in Alex and Ani’s small business success began at Bryant University.
“Businesses are successful because they focus on exporting” said Feroce.

Cheryl Merchant, President and CEO of Hope Global indicated that “exports are our life.” That’s their motto.  Innovation is the way to do it, by doing more with less, as stated by Merchant.

“‘Bring Us Your Business. We'll Give You The World’ is an excellent motto of the Chafee Center. I want to commend you for that”, Rep Walsh stated.

R.I. is the focal point for opportunities and by concentrating on exports and creating more jobs, we can make R.I. a more prosperous state.