Ports Tour Creates Economic Development Opportunities

South Carolina’s ports are one of the state’s most essential resources. In an effort to showcase the importance of imports/exports to the state’s economy, Anderson Sister Cities Association (ASCA) in South Carolina put together a ports tour to promote sister city membership and the ports’ potential for economic development in the community. 

Today, the state’s ports bring in $45 billion and generate hundreds of thousands of jobs. Imports and exports are vital to the state’s economy and exist to drive economic investment. The main exports from South Carolina include automotive and aeronautical parts, as South Carolina is home to the U.S. BMW headquarters, Boeing, nine Michelin facilities, and more. South Carolina’s location on the coast and possession of 10 interstate highways, makes the state a major transportation hub and attractive to international investors. 

ASCA worked with the Anderson Conventions and Visitors Bureau, local political leaders, Rotarians, and local civic organizations to get the word out about the tour. Thirty-five representatives from businesses, schools, and the community-at-large participated in a two day charter bus tour of South Carolina ports.

During the tour, representatives became familiarized with what the ports offer and learned about how they can benefit from future partnerships. The overnight trip included a reception at the College of Charleston. The event proved to be an educational experience and the networking opportunities were one of the greatest highlights. 

After the tour, ASCA Chairperson, Carol Burdette, received a call from Anderson’s sister city, Carrickfergus, Northern Ireland to discuss the establishment of a U.S. flagship company in Anderson. ASCA hopes to see more developments in the future with the Ports Authority, their sister cities, other local organizations.