State Changing Name, Mission of Economic Development Agency

LITTLE ROCK (AP) - What used to be the Arkansas Department of Economic Development has become the Arkansas Economic Development Commission. The state's top economic development officer, Maria Haley, says it's still the same agency, but with some changes in its mission.

Haley said the name change was to get rid of a weapon that officials in other nearby states were using to quietly put down Arkansas. She said the initials ADED unfortunately spelled an acronym that was being pronounced ``A'-ded'' by some of the folks in neighboring states -- not the image she wanted to project for Arkansas. So now it's the AEDC.

She said the mission change involves a greater emphasis on international efforts. The former member of the board of the Export-Import Bank of the United States said Arkansas's efforts to attract companies may not have been as global as they should have been. She said the agency has no international division, and she's looking at changing that.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)