Thursday, March 11, 2010 | 2:03 PM
MONTGOMERY – Governor Bob Riley unveiled the state’s updated strategy to create new jobs through exports during a ceremony Thursday at the State Capitol, where he also recognized seven Alabama companies for their success in international trade.
“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, such as China, India, and Russia. The Governor will lead trade missions to India and Russia during 2010. Exports from Alabama to India jumped 63% 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% 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.
Alabama’s exports in 2009 totaled $12.4 billion, an increase of 36% since 2004. Since the launch of Export Alabama, 21 trade missions to 22 countries have taken place. 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.
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. Recipients of the 2010 Governor’s Trade Excellence Awards from the nothern part of the state are: ADTRAN, based in Huntsville; Hi-Temp, Inc., based in Tuscumbia; and Progress Rail Services Corporation, based in Albertville.