Arkansas Exports & Foreign Investment


In 2023, Arkansas exported not a record $6.5 billion of goods to the world.  In 2021, exports from Arkansas supported an estimated 35 thousand jobs.


Exports from Arkansas and Jobs

  • Arkansas was the 38th largest state exporter of goods in 2023.
  • In 2023, Arkansas goods exports were $6.5 billion, a decrease of 10 percent ($711 million) from its export level in 2013 (latest data available).
  • Goods exports accounted for 3.7 percent of Arkansas GDP in 2023 (latest data available).
  • Arkansas goods exports in 2021 (latest data available) supported an estimated 35 thousand jobs. Nationally, jobs supported by goods exports pay up to an estimated 18 percent above the national average.

Manufacturing Exports from Arkansas and Jobs

  • In 2023, Arkansas exported $5.5 billion of manufactured products.
  • Arkansas exports of manufactured products supported an estimated 19 thousand jobs in 2021 (latest data available).
  • The state's largest manufacturing export category is transportation equipment, which accounted for $1.6 billion of Arkansas's total goods exports in 2023.
  • Other top manufacturing exports are food and kindred products ($745 million), chemicals ($686 million), machinery, except electrical ($648 million), and paper ($443 million).


Exports Sustain Thousands of Arkansas Businesses many of which are SMEs

  • A total of 2,190 companies exported from Arkansas locations in 2022 (latest data available). Of those, 1,665 (76 percent) were small and medium sized enterprises with fewer than 500 employees.
  •  Small and medium-sized firms generated 22.9 percent of Arkansas's total exports of goods in 2022.


Arkansas Depends on World Markets

  • The state’s largest market was Canada. Arkansas exported $1.6 billion in goods to Canada in 2023, representing 25 percent of the state’s total goods exports.
  • Canada was followed by Mexico ($1.1 billion), Japan ($394 million), China ($346 million), and France ($250 million).
  • Arkansas’s exports to major world areas included:


2023 Value


$4.2 billion


$1.7 billion

European Union

$826 million

South/Central America and Caribbean

$503 million

Sub-Saharan Africa 

$30 million


  • 53 percent of Arkansas’s goods exports ($3.4 billion) in 2023 went to current FTA partners. 

Agriculture in Arkansas depends on Exports

  • Arkansas is the country’s 15th largest agricultural exporting state, shipping $4.3 billion in domestic agricultural exports abroad in 2022 (latest data available according to the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture).[1]
  • Top Agricultural exports were:


2022 Value

 2022 State Rank


$1.3 billion



$682 million



$628 million


broiler meat

$531 million


soybean meal

$228 million



International Investment Creates Jobs in Arkansas

  • In 2021 (latest data available), foreign-controlled companies employed 59,100 Arkansas workers. Major sources of foreign investment in Arkansas included the United Kingdom, France and France.
  • Foreign investment in Arkansas was responsible for 5.7 percent of the state's total private-industry employment in 2021.

Arkansas’s Major Metropolitan Areas Benefit from Exporting

In 2022 (latest data available), the following metropolitan areas in Arkansas recorded goods exports: Memphis ($17.8 billion), Little Rock-North Little Rock-Conway ($1.4 billion), Fayetteville-Springdale-Rogers ($715.5 million), Fort Smith ($432.6 million), Pine Bluff ($211.7 million), and Jonesboro ($152.7 million).

[1] Estimates of state exports of agricultural products by the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture and goods exports by the U.S. Dept. of Commerce are based on different methodologies and are not directly comparable.