As the third most diverse economy in the U.S., the state
of Missouri is a pivotal player on the global stage. Missouri
had a GDP of $258 billion in 2012 and exports totaling
nearly $13 billion in 2013, accounting for a growing share
of the world’s market in the fastest-growing sectors.
Missouri’s industries include advanced manufacturing,
biosciences, energy solutions, financial and professional
services, health science, and information technology.
Transportation/logistics is one of the state’s strongest sectors,
and it has a marked impact on the rest of the state’s business.
Located at the confluence of the two largest river systems
in North America (the Missouri and Mississippi rivers),
Missouri is able to offer international companies low-cost
shipping year-round via the Gulf of Mexico. The state’s
rail assets are likewise economical, with two of the largest
U.S. terminals offering access to both the East and West
coasts. Missouri’s seventh-ranked highway system and two
international airports — Lambert-St. Louis International
Airport and Kansas City International — round out the
transportation picture and make the state an optimal
location for manufacturing and distribution.
More than six million people call Missouri home, making it
one of the most populous states in the American Midwest, and
its workforce is one of the most valuable. Missouri graduates
more high school students than 42 other states, and the state’s
average wage is 10 percent below the national average.
Several foreign-owned companies with significant footprints
in Missouri are already taking advantage of the state’s
business assets. Like their American counterparts, these
companies find Missouri to be a safe investment based on
its economic diversity and long-held AAA bond ratings.
Companies working in the pharmaceutical, animal health,
information technology, and automotive sectors have been
among those to recently announce expansions in the state.
They join companies like Kawasaki, GKN, and BioMerieux,
already in Missouri.
Business leaders are often surprised by Missouri’s beauty
and cultural offerings. The state has over 50 state parks
and 2,000 miles of lakeshore, providing a wide range of
options for outdoor adventure. Cultural entertainment
also abounds with live theatre companies and world-class
symphonies. Major league sports are a huge draw for
Missouri residents and visitors alike.
A true midwestern state, Missouri shares the climactic
attributes of all four corners of the country, but does not
experience the extremes of any. Missouri’s cost of living is
also comfortable, ranking 11th-lowest in the U.S. by CNBC.