For California small business owners looking for funds to increase or start exporting, the California State Trade and Export Promotion (California STEP) project leverages a statewide network of state, federal, private and non-profit trade promotion organizations to facilitate export promotion and activities in targeted industries and to drive exports for small businesses. If you have any additional questions or concerns related to export, please contact a California STEP staff or Jeff Williamson, Statewide Director of Centers for International Trade Development (CITD).
California has the ninth largest economy in the world with a gross state product of more than $1.9 trillion and nation's largest exporter, shipping nearly $159.4 billion worth of export merchandise in 2011-a 25% increase over 2009; returning California's export totals to pre-recession levels. Thus, export is a major economic engine for California that broadly benefits businesses and jobs creation.
The Pacific Rim located in California is one of the largest trade networks in the nation, giving businesses access to the global economy. Other key exporting metropolitan areas in California include: Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana ($79.8 billion), San Francisco-Oakland-Fremont ($31.8 billion), San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara ($22.8 billion), and San Diego-Carlsbad-San Marcos ($16 billion). In 2011, California's export in 2011 totaled $159.4 billion by virtue of large export partners such as Mexico ($26.04 billion), Canada ($17.2 billion), China ($14.2 billion), and Japan ($13.1 billion).
Foreign Direct Investment
According to the US Department of Commerce, the United States is the world’s largest recipient of foreign direct investment (FDI). In 2009 alone, the United States received $130 billion in FDI making a positive impact in the U.S. economy, particularly in California. The foreign-controlled companies in California, the no.1 state for FDI and venture capital, employed nearly 561,000 workers, which makes up 4.6 percent of the state's total private-industry employment.
California remains the most attractive place to invest because of the number and diversity of its industry clusters: California has the high-tech industries of Silicon Valley, the biotech industries of San Diego and the San Francisco Bay Area, the agricultural technology industry of the Central Valley, and the entertainment industry of Los Angeles. Most of these major foreign investors are from Japan, United Kingdom, Switzerland and France.