About the State

West Virginia is located in the heart of Appalachia, strategically located and connected to major metropolitan areas up and down the Eastern U.S. and Canada. Learn how our low cost of living and pro-business tax climate coupled with a high quality of life make life better here.

Key Industries

West Virginia's diverse economy has moved beyond our history of resource extraction to include a robust array of products and services. Learn about the key industries that have taken a foothold here and learn why leading companies make their home in the Mountain State.

Business Assistance

The West Virginia Development Office works hard to make the process of locating in West Virginia smooth and seamless. Our team walks with businesses every step of the way to locate a new site, expand facilities, export goods, train to employees, and much more.

Global Engagement

West Virginia is home to more than 130 businesses representing 27 countries from around the world, and West Virginia businesses export goods and services to more than 95 countries. Learn how our international team works out of three worldwide office to foster global engagement.

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Export Report Shows Consistent Growth and Diversification of West Virginia Economy

Thursday, March 14 2019

State outpaced the nation in export growth and produced year-over-year gains for second consecutive year 

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — West Virginia exports increased for the second year in a row, reaching $8.1 billion in 2018. The state outpaced the national average growth rate in 2018, as exports increased 14.2 percent, while the nation’s exports grew at just 7.6 percent.

 “To see our exports growing at almost double the national rate is truly incredible,” Gov. Justice said. “Not only is it great news for our manufacturers who have made a home here in West Virginia and have seen their businesses grow because of it, but it is also wonderful to know that West Virginia’s products are making an impact all over the world and that everyone gets to see just how good we really are.”

Plastics, chemicals, automotive, metals, aerospace, and hardwoods combined for more than $3 billion in exports from West Virginia. Notably, products and parts for the aerospace industry reported export growth at 17.8 percent over the previous year.

“This report highlights the ongoing, sustained and successful efforts in place to continue diversifying the economy in West Virginia,” said Mike Graney, executive director of the West Virginia Development Office. “West Virginia manufacturers have proven they can deliver quality goods at a competitive price to customers located throughout the world.” 

Coal continued to be the state’s primary export and led the nation, with more than $4.3 billion exported to 35 countries. India, Ukraine, Netherlands, Brazil, and Canada were the top five export markets for West Virginia coal.

Canada remained West Virginia’s largest trading partner with more than $1 billion in exports.

For the second year in a row, West Virginia saw an increase in exports to its No. 2 trading partner, India. West Virginia’s exports to India grew 46 percent in 2018.

The U.S. Census Bureau releases export data annually.

With products shipped to 142 countries in 2018, exports remain a critical component of West Virginia’s economy. The West Virginia Development Office works with small and medium-sized businesses to increase export sales and find reputable foreign business partners. Companies interested in pursuing international sales for the first time or looking to expand into new markets should contact the West Virginia Development Office to learn more about these services. Visit the West Virginia Development Office Export Assistance Program at http://westvirginia.gov/step.


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