The recession is not without a silver lining. Hard economic times at home are forcing businesses to aggressively seek markets overseas. Yet though exports of Maryland-made goods rose 25 percent to $3.17 billion in 1990, much of the state's foreign trade potential is still untapped. Frederick County is a case in point. Only 63 out the county's 3,000 businesses are selling internationally, although many more could do so.
Up to now the county has not pushed exports in a coordinated fashion. But a state-sponsored survey of Frederick companies' foreign sales efforts has now led to discussion about forming an export council. Such a coordinating body could help small and mid-sized firms in particular to enter world markets.
A list of items Frederick County exports shows that the daring and the imaginative are rewarded. "Because Frederick has so many high-tech firms, many exports are electronic or computer technology," said James Graham of the county's Economic and Community Development Commission.