2019 Regional Report: The SoutheastOctober 11, 2019
By Craig Guillot
No. 8 SOUTH CAROLINA
Global Growth in the Palmetto State
A perennial manufacturing powerhouse, South Carolina set a record for total export sales for the ninth consecutive year in 2018. Top export commodities were vehicles and parts, aircrafts, nuclear reactors, boilers, machinery and parts. South Carolina now has a 16 percent market share of the entire U.S. passenger market, and top export countries include China, Canada, Germany and Mexico. “We’ve cultivated a globally connected economy in South Carolina, and last year’s export sales total reflects that,” said Secretary of Commerce Bobby Hitt in a press release.
Aerospace has been a particularly growing sector. French aerospace supplier AHG Fasteners-USA announced in June 2019 it will open a new U.S. operations in Charleston, citing the availability of skilled workers and proximity to Boeing as major factors in the location decision. “Not only is Charleston ideally suited as a distribution hub for both domestic and overseas customers, the business-friendly climate, the support from the regional economic development authorities and other partners have been extremely welcoming,” said Francoise Montsarrat, AHG executive vice president, in a press release on the opening.
AHG is the sixth company to locate in the region as part of the South Carolina Department of Commerce and Charleston Regional Development Alliances’ Landing Pad program, which supports global companies as they enter the U.S. market.