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A report released Tuesday by the U.S. Department of Commerce showed that Connecticut's exports increased 3.1 percent in 2013 compared with the previous year.
Connecticut was one of 16 states reaching a record level of exports. Last year, the value of exports from Connecticut to other countries totaled $16.5 billion, up about $500 million from the year before.
"Efforts by Connecticut's private sector, with support from effective Connecticut company trade missions, is yielding tangible results and increasing export growth in our state," said U.S. Rep. Joe Courtney, D-2nd District, who attended an outreach event in Toronto, Canada, Monday.
Courtney's trade missions over the past few years have taken him to Australia, Israel, the United Kingdom and Belgium, trips that he said are funded by companies through Connecticut's District Export Council.
Connecticut's largest export partner continued to be France, which bought $2.43 billion in goods and services from the state last year. Other top exporting countries were Canada, Germany, Mexico and the United Arab Emirates.
Of the major labor markets in Connecticut, the Norwich-New London area accounts for the fewest exports, only $262 million in the latest breakdown for 2012. This compares with $10.3 billion in the Bridgeport area, $9.7 billion in the Hartford region and $2 billion for New Haven-Milford.
The biggest sector for exports statewide is the transportation equipment segment, which accounted for $8 billion in trade. Other top categories were machinery (except electrical), $1.9 billion; computer and electronic products, $1.3 billion; chemicals, $998 million, and electrical equipment, appliances and components, $760 million.
"As a small state geographically, the need to export is critical," said Courtney. "Investing in exports is a winning strategy for our businesses and our economy."
Nationwide, exports set a record for the fourth consecutive year, reaching $2.3 trillion.
No other New England state besides Connecticut set a record for exports, though Massachusetts and New Hampshire recorded increases.
Other states reaching record highs were Texas, California, Washington, Louisiana, Michigan, Ohio, Georgia, Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina, Kentucky, Mississippi, Maryland, Colorado and Oklahoma.