A Hub of International Activity
Orange County’s geographic location provides it with very distinct advantages regarding international trade which include:
- Close proximity to the Ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles.
- Well-connected freeway and road system for trucking, rail lines providing national trade linkages.
- Close proximity to Los Angeles International Airport, Santa Ana’s John Wayne Airport, Long Beach Airport and Ontario International Airport.
- Large and growing presence of an ethnically diverse population providing key contacts for international linkages.
Combine these significant trade advantages with Orange County’s large and competitive manufacturing base, rapidly growing trade relationships (with growing economies such as China, Japan, South Korea, Mexico, Canada, and others), and the current and future potential economic and employment opportunities to help drive the county’s robust global trade industry.
According to the California State University, Fullerton Mihaylo College of Business and Economics 2013 Orange County and Southern California International Trade Forecast, in 2011 exports accounted for about 13% of the county’s Gross Metropolitan Product. This was up from a 9.5% of GMP in 2010. The two most dominant export sectors for the county were Computer and Electronic Products and Transportation Equipment. These two sectors alone generated close to 45.8% of all Orange County exports in 2011.
Overall, International Trade has been one of Orange County’s strongest growth industries. Despite a significant decline in 2009 due to the impacts of the great recession, Orange County exports rebounded in 2010 by 22.2% and an additional 20.2% in 2011. In fact, Orange County exports in 2011 were estimated to reach an all-time high of $24.6 billion. Going forward, Orange County exports are expected to reach close to $22.3 billion by the end of 2019.