Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin joined Cabinet Secretary Keith Burdette, the West Virginia Development Office, and the West Virginia Export Council June 24 to present the Governor's Commendation for International Market Entry to representatives of 37 West Virginia business exporters, celebrating top small and medium businesses in the Mountain State. Among them were Marble King and Sistersville Tank Works.
"West Virginia has shown the world that we have the quality products, services, and workforce to compete in the global marketplace," Gov. Tomblin said.
"Nearly 95 percent of the world's consumers live outside the United States. West Virginia businesses that export enlarge their own markets while they also expand our state's economy and support jobs here at home. I appreciate the opportunity to honor them for their success."
Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin presents the Commendation for International Market Entry to Beri Fox, president and chief executive officer of Marble King, located in Paden City.
Although West Virginia companies continue to export to traditional trade partners such as China and Canada, many of this year's honorees exported to emerging markets in Africa and the Middle East. These regions include destinations such as Ghana, Mozambique and Sierra Leone in Africa, and Qatar, Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates in the Middle East. Locally, Marble King exports marbles to Turkey and Sistersville Tank Works exports custom metal fabrication to South Korea.
West Virginia's exports represent a diverse range of products including consumer goods such as barrel saunas and rope sandals; technology such as computer software; biomedical such as large scale DNA sequence production; automotive such as truck parts; and manufacturing such as fabricated steel products and industrial ceramics.
This year, more than 100 awards were given to 37 small and medium-sized West Virginia companies recognizing export sales to 72 different countries.
The governor also presented certificates to the Polymer Alliance Zone, Chemical Alliance Zone, and the West Virginia Coal Association to recognize the success of West Virginia exporters in those sectors.