Gov. Riley outlines 2010 strategy to create new export jobs

MONTGOMERY, AL - Governor Bob Riley unveiled the state's updated strategy to create new jobs through exports during a ceremony at the State Capitol Thursday where he also recognized seven Alabama companies for their success in international trade.

The governor's office says the value of Alabama's exports has increased significantly since Riley launched Export Alabama, the state's trade promotion effort, in 2004.

Alabama's exports in 2009 totaled $12.4 billion, an increase of 36 percent since 2004. Since the launch of Export Alabama, 21 trade missions to 22 countries have taken place, with seven of these missions led by Governor Riley. These trade missions resulted in 33 agreements being signed between Alabama companies and foreign customers worth approximately $70 million in sales and the creation of 1,000 jobs in Alabama.

"Our 2010 trade agenda builds on Alabama's outstanding success in exporting. New international business and education ties forged this year will continue to benefit our citizens for years to come," said Governor Riley.

The 2010 trade strategy includes pursuing business opportunities in emerging markets like as China, India and Russia. The Governor will lead trade missions to India and Russia during 2010.  Exports from Alabama to India jumped 63 percent from 2008 to 2009, from $98.9 million to $161.4 million.  Exports from Alabama to Russia also saw an increase from 2008 to 2009, from $309 million to $343 million -- an 11 percent increase.

The trade strategy also calls for a continued focus on helping Alabama's small- and medium-sized companies to market their goods and services overseas. A new effort for 2010 will help companies develop and modify their websites to reach potential customers in foreign countries.

Governor Riley also presented seven Alabama companies and the Alabama State Port Authority with the Governor's Trade Excellence Award during the ceremony. The award was established in 2005 to recognize Alabama companies for excelling in global competition. The objectives of this award include identifying Alabama's successful exporters, promoting exporters as role models to the Alabama business community, and increasing awareness of the impact of exporting on Alabama's economy.

The award is coordinated by the Alabama Development Office and the Export Alabama Trade Alliance and includes large, medium and small businesses as well as new-to-export companies from different parts of the state.

The recipients of the 2010 Governor's Trade Excellence Awards are:

ADTRAN, based in Huntsville

Alabama State Port Authority, based in Mobile

Command Alkon Incorporated, based in Birmingham

Enterprise Electronics Corporation, based in Enterprise

Hi-Temp, Inc., based in Tuscumbia

Horizon Shipbuilding, Inc., based in Bayou La Batre

Progress Rail Services Corporation, based in Albertville

Warren Manufacturing, Inc., based in Birmingham

INFORMATION SOURCE: Governor Bob Riley's office