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A recent report by the U.S-China Business Council puts the growth rate of Virginian goods exported to China from 2006 to 2017 at a record 47%. This "supported 17,300 jobs in 2015" alone and is set to continue through 2017. Meanwhile, the growth in services exported to China rose a staggering 256% in the same time period. This puts China only second to Canada in Virginias total goods export markets.
Good Business Means More Exports
Virginia has worked hard to foster a positive business environment for both local small businesses as well as national businesses registered in or operating out of the great state. Through a calculated combination of tax incentives and diplomatic efforts Virginia has managed to expose businesses of all sizes to international goods and services markets. The results mentioned above speak for themselves!
According to many business leaders across the state it all starts with good business practices back home. "If you do good business by your customers, then you will flourish, the state will flourish, and we will maintain international competitiveness" said one local manufacturing CEO. States that over tax small businesses and hamper growth ultimately shoot themselves in the foot as they force their state level enterprises to spend more time and money fighting legislation when they could be investing in R&D, growth and exports.
What's Next in Store for Virginia-Chinese Trade Relations
While there may be "stormy waters" ahead, especially given recent remarks by President Trump about Chinese stealing of intellectual property, many foresee a coming golden era of trade with the worlds most populous economy. For example, shipping from China to America has increased year-on-year for over a decade now. American businesses have not seen that type of export market expansion since Japan really hit industrial strides in the 1980's.
While some political and economic pundits are working hard to hype the growth potential of smaller developing economies of Southeast Asia and Africa, many Virginians still have their eye on China in terms of the new frontier for selling consumer goods and services.
"China has long been a destination for the export of raw materials and unfinished goods. Businesses capitalized on their cheap labor only. Now though China is developing its own middle class and thus is creating more opportunities for established American brands to sell their goods to these hungry new shoppers" said one president of manufacturing for a local consumer goods plant.
Strengthening Ties & Reducing Obstacles
Even still, just because trade is growing does not mean it cannot grow faster. From reducing restrictions on exports, local, state and federal restrictions on businesses at home, and tariffs abroad the growth of exports could potentially triple within the next decade. The rapid rise of disruptive technologies and the boom of e-commerce and mobile payments in China means more people can spend money much easier on foreign brands than ever before.
While Virginia has a team working to help remove obstacles for Chinese companies, the same cannot always be said of China. Many Virginia-based businesses struggle to get past sometimes daunting red-tape and government restrictions in the Peoples Republic of China. Sometimes these obstacles can be removed with local "donations" however other times, especially when involving trans-national distribution chains, hang ups can be sourced to national levels, places businesses need their home governments to help negotiate and work with to liberalize the free flow of their goods or services.