Trip Will Focus on Economic Development in Life Sciences and Clean Energy, Improving Travel Routes and Strengthening Academic Ties
Governor Deval Patrick today announced he will lead a trade mission to China with a team of business executives, academic leaders and senior government officials later this fall, continuing his work to build trust and credibility in the growing relationship between Massachusetts and China.
The visit will focus on exploring opportunities to strengthen collaboration around clean energy, life sciences, education and transportation. The delegation is scheduled to visit Beijing and Shanghai for the 7-day trade mission, tentatively departing Boston on November 30 and arriving in China on December 1, and departing China on December 7 to arrive back in Boston on December 8, 2007.
"In today's global economy, competition is worldwide, and so are the opportunities. No state can afford to sit back and wait for the benefits of foreign trade and development. We have a responsibility to partner with the private sector and promote Massachusetts effectively and aggressively," said Governor Patrick. "Our Commonwealth is already a national leader in cutting-edge industries, such as alternative energy and life sciences, and in providing high-quality education at every level. But we have to take bold initiative to move Massachusetts forward and compete on the international stage."
This visit will be the first in a series of steps Governor Patrick takes to strengthen the Massachusetts-China relationship. The agenda will include visits in Beijing and Shanghai to Chinese companies and universities to express the Commonwealth's interest in China's academic, research and development and commercial achievements.
Representatives from the Patrick Administration, legislative leadership, the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative and Massport will participate in the trade mission, along with representatives from the University of Massachusetts, Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Massport and the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative will provide funding for the trip as partners in the Commonwealth's economic development goals.
Key advantages for carrying out this trade mission include:
* Pursuing Opportunities for Economic Development: China's clean energy development has been growing at a rapid pace in recent years - a trend that is expected to continue as the country expects to generate 20 percent of its energy from renewable sources by 2020. There are enormous opportunities for Massachusetts to participate in this growth. Similarly, China's life sciences sector has many possibilities for our companies and institutions. Already, a broad range of the Commonwealth's medical centers, research institutes, and life sciences companies are developing a presence in China. By traveling to China and expressing a sincere interest in cross-national development, Governor Patrick can help deepen our involvement there.
* Strengthening Academic Ties: Massachusetts' world-renowned universities have already established ties with Chinese universities and executives to provide training in management and technology transfer. Governor Patrick can help reinforce and further such cooperative agreements.
* Enhancing Travel Routes: Seeking to enhance air and sea connections between China and Massachusetts will provide numerous economic and other benefits. Efficient, easy transportation of goods and people between different regions of the world is a necessary condition for economic development.
"We fully support Governor Patrick's initiative to bring Massachusetts' innovation economy, life sciences and clean energy to the rapidly growing China market," said Genzyme Corporation Chairman and CEO, Henri Termeer. "Genzyme is committed to establishing a long-term presence in China, working in partnership with government, academia and industry to improve healthcare through the introduction of innovative products and technology. We invite the Governor to visit the site of our future environmentally-friendly biotechnology facility in Beijing's Zhongguancun (ZGC) Life Science Park."
"A sharply defined trade mission has the potential to stimulate business in ways, and places, other economic development tools cannot," said Mitchell Adams, Executive Director of the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative. "China is facing significant health and environmental challenges and wants to move up from low cost manufacturing to high tech high product development. Strengthening our ties with the Chinese will enhance the competitiveness and sustainability of Massachusetts' clean energy and life sciences companies while helping China address its challenges and achieve its strategic development goals."
"Governor Patrick is taking a critical step in leading this delegation to China. Massachusetts and China have longstanding cultural and economic ties and China will be an important partner in the years ahead, especially as it becomes one of the world's economic superpowers and thus provides a major market for Massachusetts goods and services," University of Massachusetts President Jack M. Wilson said. "We need the Governor to lead the way in tapping this important market and we need opportunities for the students of Massachusetts to do the same."
"With the growing volumes of trade between us, and the promising opportunities for new business partnerships, China has figured prominently in the new air and sea service that Massport has brought to Massachusetts in recent years and will bring in the future," said Thomas J. Kinton, Jr., Massport CEO and Executive Director. "We look forward to participating in the Governor's trade mission to continue Massport's efforts to build closer ties between Massachusetts and China."