The state of Kansas has been ranked first in its region for economic development projects in Site Selection magazine’s 2012 rankings. Site Selection, which has compiled annual economic development rankings since 1978, listed Kansas 13th among all states for expansions and new facilities opened in 2012.
What’s more, announced the Kansas Department of Commerce Wednesday, exporting in Kansas increased slightly to $11.66 billion in 2012. Exports have grown by more than $1.75 billion since 2010.
“I’m thrilled that Kansas has been able to create a great business environment in the state,” said Kansas Commerce Secretary Pat George. “We’re doing a tremendous job within our region, but we’re also one of the best performers across the country at helping businesses open and expand here. We will continue to work hard to become even more competitive in supporting the growth and job creation efforts of Kansas companies.”
Site Selection ranked Kansas first in the seven-state West North Central region that also included Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota and South Dakota. With 122 new facilities and expansions in 2012, Kansas led all states in this region. Kansas also had the most economic development projects in the region over the three year period from 2010-2012, with 274 new facilities and expansions during this time.
Of the 122 economic development projects in 2012, 17 were classified as new manufacturing facilities, 32 as manufacturing expansions and the remaining 73 as all other categories, including offices, headquarters, distribution centers, research and development facilities and mixed-use facilities.
As for the exporting, “in 2012, Kansas retained the tremendous gains to the state’s export totals made during 2011,” George said. “We also experienced some additional growth, as Kansas businesses continued to be successful in international markets. In the global economy, it’s vital to remain a competitive state in the export market, and I look forward to continued work with Kansas companies as they strive to become and remain leaders in trade.”
In the five-state region that includes Kansas, Colorado, Missouri, Nebraska and Oklahoma, the average export value during 2012 was $9.56 billion. Kansas once again achieved an export mark above this average.
The top 10 industry sectors were up from 2011 by 3 percent. The largest gains occurred in oil seeds, grain, seed, fruit and plants (257 percent), mineral fuel (102 percent) and industrial machinery (12 percent). The top 10 industries accounted for 74.2 percent of the state’s exports. The largest sector, aircraft sales, had $2.07 billion in exports, a 2.7 percent decline from 2011.
Once again, Canada, Mexico, China and Japan were the state’s top four export markets. Exports to China have increased by 70.6 percent since 2011, the largest increase for any country in the top ten markets. China has moved from the fifth largest export market for Kansas in 2010 to third place.
Other Kansas export facts:
• Canada continues to be Kansas’ largest export market, accounting for 23.3 percent of total exports. The top three markets (Canada, Mexico and China) accounted for 45.6 percent of the total.
• The top ten markets accounted for 71.9 percent of total exports.
• Exports to United Kingdom moved from seventh to sixth in the rankings after growing by more than $110 million in 2012, an increase of 26.8 percent from the prior year.