I have determined that:
(1) the economic stimulus and support of public services provided by Alaska’s oil industry will not in itself be sufficient to sustain and enhance the quality of life in Alaska or the growth of our economy over the long term;
(2) the volatility of international energy markets and Alaska’s current dependence on energy-related economic growth and revenue sources pose too great a risk of economic, social and governmental disruption in the future to be acceptable;
(3) the private sector and public sector have an equal stake in providing for economic, social and governmental stability in Alaska; and,
(4) the active diversification of Alaska’s economy, particularly with regard to the development of trade and investment and the establishment of an entrepreneurial climate in Alaska, constitutes the most promising and direct avenue for assuring continued economic growth, social well being, and sustainable levels of state and local governmental services.
I conclude that it is in the best interests of the State to join with Alaska’s private sector in mobilizing our respective talents and assets to undertake the development of a concerted strategy to reshape Alaska’s economy; and, further, that this strategy should be aimed primarily at attracting investment to Alaska, opening new markets, encouraging new forms of enterprise, and making accessible the knowledge and information resources necessary for such an undertaking.
THEREFORE, pursuant to the authority vested in me by Article III, Sections 1 and 24, of the Alaska Constitution and AS 44.19.145(c), IT IS ORDERED:
(1) The Trade Alaska program for the development of Alaska’s economy is established;
(2) The purpose of Trade Alaska is to promote export-related business in Alaska. For this purpose “export” contemplates any activity which brings money from outside the state into Alaska. This type of activity will help to reduce Alaska’s dependence on oil revenue through stimulation of the economy, and to increase the wealth and well-being of Alaskans through the creation of jobs and opportunities.
(3) To achieve these purposes, the goals of the Trade Alaska program will be to coordinate and advise on plans to:
(a) increase investment in Alaska;
(b) improve Alaska’s access to markets;
(c) stimulate an entrepreneurial climate in Alaska;
(d) increase Alaskans’ participation in our industries;
(e) build statewide, regional and local economic capabilities; and,
(f) make useful knowledge and information readily accessible.
(4) The program shall be advised by a non-partisan board of advisors, which shall be appointed by the Governor and which shall make recommendations to the Governor regarding the trade and economic development policies and programs of the State of Alaska.
(5) A working group chaired by the Governor shall oversee all operations of the Trade Alaska program, review all trade and economic development marketing and public relations campaigns for the State of Alaska, and shall provide support to the board of directors. The working group, to be designated by the Governor, shall comprise commissioners and administrators from selected agencies.
(6) The Trade Alaska program shall actively encourage the affiliation and participation of individuals, businesses and organizations in the private sector, as well as agencies, entities and programs of federal and local governments, for purposes of conducting the program’s operations and extending the program’s services throughout the state.
(7) The Trade Alaska program shall actively encourage the formation of regional development organizations, whether private sector, public sector or mixed, for the purposes of conducting the program’s operations and extending the program’s services throughout the state.
(8) The following departments and agencies of the State of Alaska, in full cooperation with the board of directors and the working group, shall serve as the State of Alaska’s participants in the Trade Alaska program’s network of programs and services: the Office of International Trade (including its foreign offices), the Department of Commerce and Economic Development, the Department of Community and Regional Affairs, the Department of Natural Resources, the Department of Education, the Department of Labor, the Department of Revenue, the Department of Fish and Game, the Department of Transportation and Public Facilities, and the Department of Environmental Conservation, the University of Alaska (including the Alaska Center for International Business), the Alaska Industrial Development Authority, the Alaska Permanent Fund Corporation, and any other as I may designate in the future.
This order takes effect immediately.
Dated this 17th day of September, 1987
By: S/S Steve Cowper
Governor of the State of Alaska