International Business Development Manager
More than 2,000 years ago, international trade was thriving on what historians call “The Silk Road.” This was a network of trade routes connecting Asia, Middle East/Africa, and Southern Europe.
The fascination with Chinese-made silk products cannot be exaggerated—the rest of the world had never seen anything like it. It was in such demand that the Chinese extended the Great Wall for protection of its silk products.
Today, international trade is widely regarded as highly beneficial to the global economy.
In Loudoun County, our companies’ exports account for approximately $2 billion annually in our GDP. In fact, of the many counties within the Dulles Foreign Trade Zone, Loudoun is home to all of the companies utilizing this FTZ, saving them millions of dollars.
Did you know that 90 percent of global consumers live outside of the United States? Needless to say, that is a very large market. In fact, if you turn over your dinner plate in a restaurant almost anywhere in the world, there is a good chance it says “Fortessa” on it. That was exported from Loudoun County.
Imports of foreign-made products are equally important to us.
With Washington-Dulles International Airport and easy access to railroads and interstates in the county, local companies can also import goods to sell on a daily basis.
Harsh Sethi, CEO of Punita Goods in Loudoun County, says that the majority of his household products are imported from all over the world, and then resold to chain stores and discount stores across North America.
According to Moody’s, Loudoun County’s total GDP is $21 billion, which is higher than 84 countries around the world.
Loudoun County accounts for nearly 10 percent of the export share of GDP for the Washington, D.C. region, which puts us in the top five of member jurisdictions.
I have economic development professionals from all over America asking me what our secret is to have such a fast-growing economy. I have also presented to the Washington/Maryland/Virginia District Export Council, where its members are amazed at our rapid growth.
I am proud of Loudoun’s international economic development, of which the importing and exporting of our consumer goods play a major role. It is easy to see why the international companies who have offices here in Loudoun are thriving.