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Gov. Ivey celebrates Alabama’s exporting success

Gov. Kay Ivey on Wednesday honored five Alabama companies for their accomplishments in selling products in markets around the world.

Governor's Trade Excellence Award Ceremony Governor's Office
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Governor Kay Ivey on Wednesday honored five Alabama companies for their accomplishments in selling products in markets around the world and contributing to the robust exporting activities that are sparking economic growth at home.

Governor Ivey presented leaders of the companies with a 2024 Governor’s Trade Excellence Award at a ceremony this morning at the Old House Chamber in the State Capitol. Additionally, Governor Ivey proclaimed May as World Trade Month in the state of Alabama.

“Last year, Alabama exports went to 190 countries, showing the power of our ‘Made in Alabama’ brand across the globe,” said Governor Ivey. “The high-performing companies we’re honoring today are finding success on a global stage, and I want to ensure they are showcased as role models within the state’s business community.”

“They prove that Alabama companies can grow and thrive at home, while also competing with the best the world has to offer,” added the governor.

The companies honored at yesterday’s ceremony were:

  • Evonik, one of the first German companies to open an Alabama operation, has facilities in Mobile (specialty chemicals) and Birmingham (medical device technology). Evonik came to Alabama in the 1970s and continues to invest in the state.
  • Hartzell Engine Tech is a Montgomery firm offering a portfolio of brands that provide engine accessories and heating solutions for the general aviation industry.
  • MDT Armor in Auburn provides armored vehicles for military, law enforcement, aviation and civilian uses to customers worldwide.
  • PTS Expeditionary Communications is a Huntsville company that offers specialized products for expeditionary command posts that are reliable, lightweight and cost-effective.
  • United Aero Group’s operation in Enterprise specializes in maintaining, repairing, overhauling and modifying a wide variety of helicopter types from major manufacturers. The operation was formerly known as Arista Air.

In addition, Governor Ivey presented Nisa Miranda, who served as director of the University of Alabama Center for Economic Development from 1995 until her retirement in March, with the Trade Advocate of the Year Award for her longstanding support of the state export support system.

Rising Exports

Alabama’s exports have been surging in recent years, increasing 43 percent in value since 2020. Last year, Alabama exports totaled $27.4 billion, eclipsing the previous annual record set in 2022.

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Leading Alabama exports include motor vehicles, chemicals, minerals, metals, aerospace parts and forest products. A spike in overseas shipments of Alabama-made motor vehicles in 2023 even earned Alabama its first No. 1 ranking among auto-exporting states.

But many of Alabama’s exporters are small businesses, with a total of 4,000 state companies involved in international trade.

“Exporting is a primary way that Alabama businesses benefit from the global economic connection that we have established,” said Ellen McNair, Secretary of the Alabama Department of Commerce. “It’s also important to remember that these international sales enhance the performance of our state-based companies and solidify their futures back here at home.”

Because 95 percent of the world’s consumers and 70 percent of the world’s purchasing power are located outside the U.S., Christina Stimpson, director of Commerce’s Office of International Trade, said it’s critical that home-grown companies look to tap into Alabama’s export platform.

“It’s great to see each of these companies recognized today for their outstanding commitment to international growth,” said Stimpson. “Each of these companies engaged in exporting will lead to growth in their production, creating and sustaining jobs in their communities.”

Commerce’s Office of International Trade offers resources to help Alabama companies enter profitable new overseas markets through frequent trade and business development missions, training, foreign-market information, and international contacts.

The office is a partner in Export Alabama, a seamless network of international trade agencies that share the fundamental objective of helping Alabama companies expand their business internationally.

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The Alabama Political Reporter is a daily political news site devoted to Alabama politics. We provide accurate, reliable coverage of policy, elections and government.

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