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Alaska Posts Big Rise in 2003 Export Numbers

February 19, 2004
Thursday - 12:45 am

Alaska's sales of goods to international markets rose by more than $222 million to $2.7 billion in 2003, up nearly 9 percent over the previous year, Governor Frank Murkowski said

Governor Frank Murkowski tells members of the World Affairs Council that Alaska has increased its exports by more $222 million in 2003, reaching $2.7 billion, with much of the increase coming from Pacific Rim trade.
Photo courtesy Office of the Governor

"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.

  • Exports of seafood, the state's largest export category, rose by nearly 4.5 percent in 2003, to $1.4 billion. Japan remains the state's largest buyer of seafood, though South Korea's share of that market is growing rapidly.
  • Exports of energy, including liquefied natural gas, rose by 8.7 percent, to $305.1 million, while exports of minerals, including zinc and lead, rose by nearly 9 percent, to $413.7 million. (All of Alaska's crude oil production is sold domestically, and cannot be counted as exports.)
  • Fertilizer exports of urea and ammonia totaled $198.9 million, up 23 percent, and wood products exports also experienced growth of 18 percent, for a total of $152.2 million.
  • Rising demand for precious metals in global markets have helped double exports, to $94 million over 2002.

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 here.

Source of News Release & Photo:

Office of the Governor
Web Site


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