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Southwest Louisiana ,

Louisiana receives $1M federal grant

Last Modified: Monday, September 23, 2013 1:09 PM

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — The U.S. Department of Commerce says Louisiana 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.

State officials tell The Times-Picayune ( ) the grant will go a long way toward funding the state's first Master Plan for International Commerce, 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.

The World Trade Center New Orleans says record exports numbers were posted in the first six months in 2013, 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. 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.

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