UPM Contract Signing Ceremony
December 4, 2008
Thank you Secretary Porcari. On behalf of the people of Maryland I want to welcome and extend our gratitude to the representatives who are with us today from UPM-Kymmene: Jussi Sarvikas, Angelo LaMantia, and Jukka Holsa. Thank you for believing in Maryland and investing in our State.
As our world grows ever smaller, ever flatter, ever more interconnected, we are increasingly looking toward the centuries-long, international legacy of the Port of Baltimore to help us grow and compete in the 21st century global economy.
Back in July, I had the opportunity to visit our Port to announce a 10-year agreement with Evergreen Marine. Today, we’re here once again to announce another important 10-year deal for our State with UPM of Finland.
Our announcement today will keep UPM at the Port of Baltimore for the next ten years – our first decade-spanning agreement with a forest products customer in this Port’s great history. The agreement will support 120 direct jobs, $26 million in wages and salary and $2.7 million in State and local taxes each year.
For those who aren’t familiar with UPM, they are one of the leading forest product companies in the world, with production facilities in 14 countries and 26,000 employees. It produces high quality paper that is used to make everything from magazines to telephone books to high gloss publications.
The Port and Our Economic Potential
In these difficult times, this Port has proven to be a perpetual silver lining in our economic storm clouds – a symbol of our resiliency as a people. Throughout our great Revolutionary history, as Marylanders we’ve proven time and again that tough times don’t last, tough people do.
Our State’s export economy provides us with some of our greatest reasons for optimism that these tough times indeed will not last. During our most recently reported period, exports out of this Port of Baltimore were more one billion dollars higher than the comparable period in 2007.
While admittedly, some of this is due to the weakened U.S. dollar, these numbers are nonetheless significant, especially when you consider that there are 3,700 Maryland companies which contribute to our export economy, and of these a full 85% are small businesses.
Overall, the Port of Baltimore is responsible for 50,200 Maryland jobs, $3.6 billion in wages and salary, nearly $2 billion in revenues, and $388 million in State, county, and local taxes. It is also responsible for an important contribution to our tourism economy. In 2008, we had 27 cruises depart from our waters, producing $63 million for our economy. Next year, this will rise to 79, thanks in large part to Carnival, which will begin year-round cruises from this Port.
What’s more, our Port ranks #1 in America in handling roll on/roll off cargo, exports of cars, and imports of sugar, iron ore and gypsum. Thanks in large part to our announcement today, it ranks #1 as well in the import of forest products.
And this week, we became the first major port in America to implement the new Transportation Worker ID cards, or TWIC. While the federal government’s process for distributing these cards has been a bit rocky, we continue to believe they are essential to our efforts to establish our Port as the safest in America.
For centuries the Port of Baltimore has been a point of entry for possibility and a harbor of opportunity for our State. We look forward to a decade of successful partnership between UPM and the people of our One Maryland.
Once again, I want to thank everyone at UPM for investing in Maryland. As a token of our appreciation, we have some gifts to present to Mr. Sarvikas, Mr. LaMantia, and Mr. Holsa.