CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- West Virginia officials are recognizing state companies for expanding into new foreign markets.Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin and state commerce officials presented 52 state businesses with the Governor's Commendation for International Market Entry awards this week.The 52 companies honored were the highest number of awards passed out during the commendation's 12-year history.The Charleston Daily Mail reported that, in total, the companies exported their products to 136 new countries last year.
West Virginia exports surged to a record high for the third year in a row last year, growing by more than 25 percent to $11.3 billion, up from $9 billion in 2011. That growth outpaced the national average of a 4.6 percent year-over-year increase. Only one other state saw exports grow at a faster pace.