December 6 2017

Where Capital Region Exports Are Growing

Last year, the Capital Region  made significant inroads in exporting merchandise to several world regions, particularly South America, Central America, the Middle East and Africa, according to a Center for Economic Growth analysis of International Trade Administration (ITA) data.

Fastest-Growing Export Regions

In 2016, Albany-Schenectady-Troy metropolitan statistical area (MSA) merchandise exports totaled $4.1 billion*. Among trade regions, the metro area made its largest year-over gains with countries associated with the Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA) and the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), increasing by 605.5 percent to $103.4 million and 159.7 percent to $299 million, respectively. The ITA data does not break out the types of merchandise shipped from metro areas to world regions. CAFTA countries include Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. OPEC includes Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Venezuela. Among world regions, exports to Africa jumped 130.4 percent to $51.7 million and 73 percent with South America to $125.8 million.

Also in 2016, Glens Falls MSA merchandise exports totaled $2618 million. Over the year, this metro area made its largest merchandise export gains with countries associated with OPEC and the Association of Southeast Asian Nation (ASEAN), increasing by 172 percent to $6.4 million and 115.5 percent to $16.9 million, respectively. ASEAN includes Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

Large Export Partner Regions

While trade with CAFTA, OPEC and ASEAN countries are rapidly growing, they are small partner regions when compared the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC: $2.8 billion), Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP: $2.2 billion), North Atlantic Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA: $2 billion) and European Union (EU: $675 million).

Over the year, the Albany-Schenectady-Troy MSA experienced export declines to these larger regions, but trade with them was up with each of them when compared to five years earlier (2012 TPP data is not available). For example, over the last five years, Albany-Schenectady-Troy MSA exports were up 23.2 percent under NAFTA, up 16.9 percent under APEC and up 37.7 percent with the EU. On a year-over basis, the Glens Falls MSA fared better with these larger regions, only seeing an export decline with the EU. However, exports over the past five years were up under NAFTA (18.5%), APEC (9.1 percent) and with the EU (1.2 percent).

CEG’s Role in Boosting Exports

To boost Capital Region exports, CEG is engaged in the following activities:

Exportech: A CEG Business Growth Solutions (BGS) program that provides manufacturers with a step-by-step system for expanding into new markets, adding customers and driving profitable growth.

Tech Valley Global Business Network (TVGBN): A collaboration between CEG, the Capital Region Chamber and the Chamber of Southern Saratoga County that provides companies with educational, coaching and networking programs for entering into or expanding in international markets.

Global NY: This is the state’s one-stop shopping center for New York businesses looking to enter foreign markets, providing them with loan and grant opportunities, export marketing assistance services and State Trade Expansion Program (SET) funding.

* Unlike the Brookings Institution 2016 export statistics on which CEG reported in September, ITA’s statistics are based on the exports’ origin of movement – not their production location – and exclude services and intellectual property.


All CEG members have access to BGS services, which include programming for lean enterprises systems, technology acceleration, quality improvement, cost reduction, new market expansion, management strategy and sales growth. To schedule a consultation with CEG BGS Director Michael Lobsinger email or call 518-465-8975 X238.

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