Georgia exports added up to a record $34.7 billion in 2011, eclipsing last year’s total by 20 percent, largely on increased trade with Asia, according to new U.S. Census Bureau data.

The state’s imports also soared to $67 billion, an 11 percent jump.

For the first time, the state sold more to Asia than to the Americas, with 39 percent and 36 percent of the state’s exports headed to those regions, respectively. Exports to Europe held an 18 percent share.

Some export figures held steady. Georgia is still the No. 12 state by value of exports. The top three export destinations – Canada, China and Mexico – remained steady. Georgia is still the country’s top exporter of wood pulp, poultry, kaolin and carpet.

Other areas were more dynamic. Aerospace exports, the top category by value, grew by 31 percent to $5.75 billion, a record high. Exports to Singapore grew by 87 percent, allowing the island trade hub to knock earthquake-ravaged Japan out of the No. 4 spot. Exports to South Korea and China were up 43 percent and 33 percent, respectively.

On the import side, South Korea also made a 43 percent leap. China, Germany, Mexico, South Korea and Japan were the top five sources of Georgia imports, accounting for some 57 percent of all imported goods in the state, according to a Georgia Department of Economic Development news release.

The department is ramping up its assistance for Georgia-based exporters. It received two grants last year totaling more than $1 million for export services, specifically focusing on small and medium-sized firms. Visit or contact Ms. Taube Ponce at 404-962-4118 for more information. 

As managing editor of Global Atlanta, Trevor has spent 15+ years reporting on Atlanta’s ties with the world. An avid traveler, he has undertaken trips to 30+ countries to uncover stories on the perils...