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Aerospace Industries Lead Kentucky Exports

State’s export growth rate is second-highest in the nation

Kentucky made products and services reached a new high of $25.3 billion dollars in 2013. This is the third year in a row that Kentucky exports have performed at new highs.

According to Governor Beshear’s office “The record represents a more than 14 percent growth in exports since 2012, the second highest increase in the country. By comparison, the average export growth rate nationwide was about 2 percent. In 2012, Kentucky’s exports totaled $22.1 billion.”

“The fact that we’ve shattered records three years in a row shows our export initiatives are working,” Beshear said. “Expanding markets by selling domestically and internationally is important to our business community, to our economy and to all Kentuckians. As a result of our hard work, demand for Kentucky products is growing at a rapid pace and other states are struggling to keep up.”

Leading Kentucky’s export growth is aerospace products ($5.6 billion), followed by motor vehicles and parts ($5.5 billion) and synthetic rubber and resin ($1.4 billion).

The Governor’s office also stated that “The aerospace industry in Kentucky reached a record $5.6 billion dollars. This comes after an 85% increase in aerospace exports from 2002 to 2012. Private aerospace manufacturing companies have also increased by 100% since 2002. There are now 40 such companies in operation or being planned.

Kentucky aerospace industry is very important to the emerging 21st Century markets of Privatization of Space. For the past three years, NASA officials have been working closely with a new set of national major private space companies for exploration into near space. Companies such as Amazon, Google, SpaceX, and Virgin Space have been active in private space launch and recovery of space ships.

Kentucky universities Murray State, Morehead, and Western are becoming major research centers for space activities as well as satellite data. Morehead State University just completed a new $15 million Space research center.

With a new president to take office at Murray State University this summer, there is a window of opportunity for MSU to rapidly increase its presence and impact with the new breed of space explorers into near space and also their plans for trips to the Moon and Mars.

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