• Business Growth Exports


Greater Philadelphia's Export Moment

Despite 86 percent of global economic growth projected to occur outside the United States between 2015 and 2020, only one percent of U.S. companies currently export and, among those that do, 58 percent export to only one market. These numbers underscore the significant opportunity for Greater Philadelphia and other U.S. metros to grow by going global.

With $32 billion in exports originating from Greater Philadelphia each year, the region has excellent global business assets to build on and is poised to take its export activity to the next level. This includes expanding upon the export successes of manufacturing firms in the region—including goods ranging from medical devices to helicopters to natural gas products—as well as increasing exports from the services sector.


To capitalize on this opportunity, the Economy League and the World Trade Center of Greater Philadelphia brought together business leaders, state and federal trade officials, and economic development experts from across southeastern Pennsylvania, southern New Jersey, and northern Delaware to develop a metro export plan. This action-oriented guide to export-led growth in Greater Philadelphia was created with support from the Global Cities Initiative, a joint project of the Brookings Institution and JPMorgan Chase that assists metropolitan areas as they develop plans to drive international trade and foreign investment.


Click here to see the Greater Philadelphia Export Plan.
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Why Exports?


For a region with such considerable economic strengths and advantages, Greater Philadelphia’s persistently lagging job growth remains deeply troubling. Greater Philadelphia has been stuck as the slowest-growing economy among the 10 largest U.S. metros, increasing its job base by only 4.5% since 2010. This stubbornly sluggish growth has kept the region from realizing its greatest potential and left its communities with fewer resources to ensure prosperity and opportunity for all. Boosting export activity can drive sustainable growth.



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Greater Philadelphia Export Plan

During 2015, the Economy League and the World Trade Center of Greater Philadelphia brought together business leaders, state and federal trade officials, and economic development experts from across southeastern Pennsylvania, southern New Jersey, and northern Delaware to develop a metro export plan.



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Market Assessment


During 2015, the Economy League conducted an in-depth market assessment of Greater Philadelphia’s export economy, its strengths and weaknesses, and opportunities for growth. The assessment drew upon extensive data analysis, a survey of area firms, and interviews with exporting companies and economic development experts.



  • Business Growth Exports

Export Resources


Greater Philadelphia has a wealth of resources available to firms that are looking to expand their business by going global. Federal, state, and local agencies, economic development organizations, nonprofits, and small business development centers are providing critical supports.



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Export Plan Partners


A steering committee comprised of top area business executives, economic development leaders, government officials, and global trade experts oversaw the development of the Greater Philadelphia Export Plan. Supporting the work of the steering committee was a small core team of committed individuals and organizations that drove the Greater Philadelphia export planning effort on a day-to-day basis.




Media Coverage