Exports of Maryland merchandise rose 9 percent last year to a record $11.8 billion, the International Trade Administration said Tuesday.

The state's export sales in 2012 far outpaced the 2011 export sales in places such as Belgium, Saudi Arabia, Australia, the United Kingdom and Egypt, the government data showed.

Exports of goods and services for the United States as a whole also reached record levels last year, totaling $2.2 trillion. U.S. Commerce Department officials credited efforts to remove trade barriers and help businesses compete globally with helping boost exports.

Maryland exports included transportation equipment, chemicals, computer and electronic products, machinery and primary metal.

Lorraine.mirabella@baltsun.com

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