Governor's office rewards South Dakota Trade's early success with $1M contribution
Original deal called for $600K in contributions over five years
The state of South Dakota is increasing its investment in the international trade game.
Gov. Kristi Noem and the Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED) Wednesday announced $1 million in additional funding from what’s known as the Future Fund will be dedicated to the South Dakota Trade Association.
The contribution marks an increase of more than 160 percent in state funds for South Dakota Trade, which began operations in April using $200,000 of Future Funds in combination with more than $300,000 of privately generated revenues. That $200,000 was part of an overall 5-year deal that called for the state to invest a total of $600,000 during that time. But the additional investment means GOED is now committing to send $1.6 million to South Dakota Trade through 2027.
For a state that a year ago was one of two without a dedicated trade group, the level of public investment now being made in South Dakota Trade will go a long way toward getting more South Dakota products exported, South Dakota Trade President and CEO Luke Lindberg told The Dakota Scout.
“41 states fully fund these operations, so having the state of South Dakota’s support is significant,” he said.
The increased contribution from GOED comes after South Dakota Trade reports it’s already assisted South Dakota companies secure more than $3 million in foreign sales via trade missions with partners from places like the United Kingdom, Malawi, Thailand, Indonesia, India, Israel the Netherlands, Japan, and Mexico.
Lt. Gov. Larry Rhoden got a first-hand look at the organization’s operations earlier this year, attending a trade mission to Mexico that resulted in South Dakota businesses netting more than a million dollars in sales from Latin American buyers.
“In South Dakota, ag is our most important industry – but there is always room to grow,” Rhoden said. “Mexico is our second-largest trade partner, and South Dakota Trade is helping that partnership expand.”
Those early successes have proven South Dakota Trade is worth investing in, the governor said.
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“South Dakota feeds the world, and we are constantly looking for new opportunities to market our incredible work to consumers in other countries,” Noem said in a statement. “Over 27,000 South Dakotans are employed by jobs directly supported by exports. We will continue to invest in our people and our workforce through the work of South Dakota Trade.”
Aside from hosting foreign buyers and sending South Dakota exporters into international markets, South Dakota Trade also offers pro-bono educational services to businesses, coaching them through the process of tapping into foreign markets. Events and programming also are part of the services South Dakota Trade offers, with Lindberg calling that arm of operations “Export University.”