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Published on June 18, 2024
Illinois Breaks Export Record with $78.7 Billion in Sales, State's Economy Benefits from Flourishing Global TradeSource: Unsplash / {Joel Mott}

In what marks another standout year for Illinois' economy, Governor JB Pritzker and the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) have announced that Illinois exports soared to a new high with a hefty $78.7 billion in sales in 2023. The state has sustained its position as the Midwest's premier exporter and ranked fifth nationwide, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce findings cited in a release on the state's official website.

"Illinois is once again recognized as a leader in global exports," Governor JB Pritzker told the state's newsroom. He elaborated on the accomplishments, highlighting the support of various sectors contributing to the burgeoning international sales which support countless jobs across the state - a sign of a thriving economy.

Mexico has emerged as a particularly vibrant market for Illinois exports. With an impressive 12% growth from 2022 and a 39% upswing since 2019, it is evident that the nation is key to Illinois’ impressive performance in global marketplaces. Kristin Richards, DCEO Director, celebrated the state’s progress as a global economic powerhouse, underscoring the transformative effect record-breaking export sales have on the state’s economic clout.

The DCEO's Office of Trade and Investment (OTI) is charting the course for continued prosperity with its announcement of applications for the Governor's 2024 Export Awards. The initiative is aimed at celebrating Illinois businesses that have excelled in exporting. Eligible exporters may also tap into the Illinois State Trade and Export Promotion (ISTEP) program, which provides funding of up to $25,000 to support international market expansion. 

For businesses looking to boost their international sales, DCEO is rolling out several opportunities including participation in a Multisector Trade Mission to Mexico City and exhibitions in the United Kingdom, South Africa, and Germany throughout 2024. These events and programs are part of a broader effort to ensure that local companies can stand toe-to-toe with global competition. Details on applying for the ISTEP program and upcoming trade events can be found on the DCEO's website, with a global network in place to support the international ambitions of Illinois businesses.