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Seattle has gained an international reputation for its quality of life, innovative companies and global competitiveness. Advantages include the region’s strategic geographic location (equidistant from London and Tokyo), advanced manufacturing capability and infrastructure, a critical mass of advanced technology, collaboration among technology sectors, diverse economic base, quality educational and health care institutions, a well-educated work force, cultural and recreational opportunities and the international outlook of its people. Approximately 18% of the population of Seattle and 31% of the population of Bellevue is foreign-born (American Community Survey 2006-2008).

The Seattle metro area (MSA) produced $24.2 billion in total exports in 2008, according to a Brookings Institution study Seattle exports in 2008 supported 196,000 jobs and accounted for 12.1% of Gross Metropolitan Product. Major export industries are transportation equipment, services (business, professional and technical), tourism, computer/ electronics products and intellectual property royalties. Services account for approximately 30% of Seattle exports.

The 2009 value of Washington State originated exports was $51.4 billion, not including exports of business, professional and technical services (estimated to be up to $10 billion annually). Washington State ranks first in the U.S. for exports per capita, valued at $7,900 in 2009. International trade supports one out of every three jobs in the local economy. Commercial ties abroad are complemented by strong civic, cultural and personal relationships that include sister city, sister county, sister port and sister state ties throughout the world.

Trade Development Alliance of Greater Seattle

The Trade Development Alliance of Greater Seattle is a partnership of the City of Seattle, the City of Everett, the Ports of Seattle, Tacoma and Everett, the Greater Seattle Chamber of Commerce, King County, Snohomish County, Pierce County and union leadership created to promote the Greater Seattle area as one of North Americas premier international trade gateways and commercial centers. The Trade Alliance organizes business missions, hosts trade delegations, and provides trade related information about the region. For further information, call (206) 389-7301, or see the Trade Alliance website

Top 10 Trading Partners, WA State

2009 WISERTrade exports (State originated) in billions of USD ($)

1. China (Mainland) $9.11
2. Canada $6.79
3. Japan $5.57
4. United Arab Emirates $2.76
5. Korea, Republic of $2.03
6. Ireland $1.86
7. India $1.84
8. Hong Kong $1.74
9. France $1.70
10. Germany $1.44

Top 10 Exports by Industry Sector

2009 WISERTrade exports (State originated) in billions of USD ($)

1. Aircraft, Spacecraft and Parts $26.34
2. Oil Seeds, Misc. Grain, Seed Fruit 4.19
3. Cereals 2.59
4. Mineral Fuel & Oil 1.83
5. Electric Machinery, Sound Equip., TV Equip. 1.64
6. Industrial Machinery, Including Computers 1.64
7. Optic, Photo etc., Medical or Surgical 1.50
8. Edible Fruit and Nuts 0.90
9. Wood, Articles of Wood 0.85
10. Toys, Games and Sports Equipment 0.84
*Does not include software, education, architectural design or other important service sector exports from the Seattle area.
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