February 19, 2004
"International exports help build a strong economy in Alaska and bring billions of new dollars into the state," Murkowski told members of the Alaska World Affairs Council at their noon meeting in Anchorage. "Trade is especially important because it creates jobs and hope for thousands of people throughout Alaska. The state is on the right track to increasing our trade."
The increases in exports were achieved in every sector, including seafood, minerals, energy, fertilizers, wood products and precious metals.
The Pacific Rim remains Alaska's largest international trading partner, with Japan representing the largest market for the state's goods, Murkowski said. In 2003, Japan purchased more than $1 billion of Alaska products, two-thirds of them seafood. Korea has been the largest growth market, increasing its purchase of Alaska goods by $140 million to $566.8 million, or 36 percent over 2002 figures. Canada and China are the next largest export markets, purchasing $230.5 million and $153.9 million from Alaska, respectively.
"It is very encouraging to see Alaska's export numbers retain their positive rate of growth throughout the year," said Murkowski. "International trade brings more new revenue to our state, creates jobs in our economy and brings hope for thousands of Alaskans. I am very pleased to see continuing evidence that wise use of our state's natural resources continue to be the foundation of good paying jobs for Alaskans."
The U.S. Department of Commerce estimates that every $1 billion of exports creates 25,000 jobs in the local economy. According to this formula, Alaska's $222 million increase in international export growth in 2003 would represent about 5,550 jobs in Alaska.
The governor also announced that his office is accepting nominations for the annual Governor's Exporter of the Year Awards. The award is presented each year to recognize outstanding achievement of Alaska businesses that export to international markets. Awards are to be given for both large and small companies.
Alaska companies may nominate themselves or other businesses for the Exporter of the Year award. Last year, the Governor's Exporter of the Year award for large business went to Sealaska Timber Corporation, while the award for small Exporter of the Year went to Northern Keta, a salmon caviar company.
"The Governor's Exporter of the Year Awards are a great way to encourage and recognize the companies that expand our economy," said Margy Johnson, director of international trade in the governor's office. "Governor Murkowski's vision sets the stage for continued economic development. He is Alaska's number-one salesman for Alaska resources around the world."
For a nomination application
for the Governor's Exporter of the Year Awards, click
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