A Missouri trade mission led by Governor Jay Nixon has gone from Germany to Spain.
The Governor says he wants to do three things with this trade trip: thank those companies that already trade with Missouri, let Missouri business leaders meet with their customers, and to look for ways to expand the already strong trade market Missouri has in Europe.
“I think we’re in a growth zone here. I mean, you’re seeing the economy of our state pick up and I think the fact that we are a great place to do business, I think we’re going to continue to see growth in this export sector to Europe,” Nixon told reporters on a conference call from Munich.
The trip has also visited Italy. Between the three countries it has stopped in, Missouri exports exceeded $577-million in 2014. Nixon hopes to increase Missouri exports, which he said reached $14.1-billion last year, the second highest year on record.
“2012 and 2014 were the two best years on record for export of Missouri goods, and these companies with us and a myriad of others will help us in continuing to create more jobs and make more exports,” said Nixon.
Nixon did not say that any new deals have been sealed during this trip.
Missouri has received international attention since August, when 18-year-old Michael Brown, Junior, was fatally shot by a Ferguson Police officer. Nixon says, though, that incident and the unrest that followed have not been major topics of discussion in his meetings with foreign officials.
“Just the fact that folks were aware of it because of the significant attention that it got, and that we appear to be trying to do some things concretely over the long run that are going to make a difference,” said Nixon.
The trip ends Saturday. It is being paid for by a nonprofit economic development group.