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Federal government to give $1m to Louisiana

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Staff writer ▼ | September 25, 2013
Stephen MoretLouisiana will receive $1 million from the federal government that will help fund a plan aimed at increasing foreign investment and international commerce in the state, the U.S. Department of Commerce announced.

The grant will go toward funding the state's first Master Plan for International Commerce, said Louisiana Economic Development Secretary Stephen Moret, and will be used for marketing and technical assistance. The state has some of the highest export growth rates in the country, thanks in large part to its booming petrochemical industry.

Record exports numbers were posted in the first six months in 2013, according to the World Trade Center New Orleans, and total exports topped $63 billion in 2012

The plan to further increase exports and foreign direct investment in Louisiana was the brainchild of state Sen. Conrad Appel, R-Metairie, who filed the legislation in 2012 to create the board that will draft the plan.

The plan is slated to be completed by early 2014 and it will "include specific strategies and recommendations to substantially expand bulk cargo and container cargo volumes in our state" and is expected to create thousands of high-wage jobs. At the moment there is no estimate on how much the plan would cost in total.

U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu touted the grant, saying it and another $1.6 million received through the U.S. Small Business Administration's State Trade and Export Promotion program represent Washington's continued interest in bolstering foreign investment in Louisiana.

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