International trade in Georgia increased to a record total last year, according to U.S. Census Bureau data.
The value of goods exported from the state hit $34.7 billion _ up 20 percent _ from $28.9 billion in 2010.
That’s the highest total ever.
“More and more companies in Georgia are discovering how trade can help them grow, and learning what the state can do to help them. Job growth created through global trade is helping economic recovery not only in Georgia, but around the country,” said Chris Cummiskey, commissioner of the Georgia Department of Economic Development.
Asia, for the first time, was the top destination for Georgia exporters, ahead of the Americas and other regions. In 2011, 39 percent of exports went to Asia, up from 33 percent the year before. The Americas took 36 percent of Georgia exports. The European Union took 18 percent.
Georgia ranked 12 in in the U.S. in the value of its exports. The top three export countries for Georgia were Canada, China and Mexico, just ahead of Singapore and Japan. Canada took 18 percent of all the state’s exports.
Imports also increased in Georgia, to $67 billion, up 11 percent.