Alabama to Increase Exports

Governor Riley will lead a trade mission to Chile and Brazil in the fall as part of a new state campaign to increase exports. The U-S Chamber of Commerce and the U.S. Department of Commerce are working with the state on a new Export Alabama initiative focusing on Chile and Brazil.

Riley announced the program Wednesday with the Chilean ambassador to the U-S, Andres Bianchi, and Leslie Schweitzer of the U-S Chamber of Commerce. Schweitzer says the chamber is working with Alabama and a few other states to help small and medium-sized companies expand their exports.

Chile was chosen because a new free trade agreement is expected to boost exports from the U-S. Brazil was chosen because it is a growing market for Alabama products, with exports from the state up 34 percent since 1999.

Riley says an exact date for the one-week trade mission hasn't been set. But a planning guide for the new Export Alabama program says it will tentatively be September 11th through 17th. One of the first events in the new program will be a seminar August 10th in Selma to help rural companies get into the export market.