Economic promotion of states to entice additional investment by business and to show taxpayers how well their state is doing compared to the rest of the nation is common practice, especially in election years.

When a state can proclaim its gross national product (GNP), actually its gross domestic product (GDP), is the 39the largest “economic nation in the world,” then it probably impresses a lot of people. This ranking was released in cooperation of the Missouri Partnership organization and the office of the Director of Economic Development for Missouri.

As the state promotion information further explained, “Missouri’s agricultural exports have become extremely diverse and have seen continued growth. In 2010, Missouri’s gross domestic product (GDP) totaled over $244 billion. When compared to gross national product (GNP), Missouri would rank higher than Finland, Malaysia, Portugal, Hong Kong and 148 other countries.

“Missouri is additionally second in the U.S. for number of farms, totaling 108,000, second in the U.S. for cattle operations, sixth in the U.S. for cotton harvested and planted and fifth in the U.S. for acres of soybeans planted and harvested.  As one of the nation’s largest soybean producers and a large corn producer, Missouri has benefited from global tariff reductions, increasing export volume to South Korea, China, the Philippines and Mexico (International Trade Administration).

“The impact of agribusiness on Missouri economy is enormous, generating more than $17.5 billion annually for Missouri’s economy and employing over 400,000 citizens.

Of course, the leadership of the state and other state-based economic development organizations want to see those numbers become even more impressive, and that is the reason for the promotion at this point.

It would be interesting to see other states release the calculations providing their international economic ranking compared to nations of the world.