Governor LePage announced today that next destination for the State of Maine Trade Mission will be China; the world's fastest growing economy. The mission will begin in Hong Kong and then visit Shanghai and its surrounding areas. This will be Governor LePage's first overseas mission as Governor and marks the first visit of a Maine governor to the People's Republic of China and will focus on inward investment attraction, education and export opportunities.
China offers enormous opportunities for Maine. Last year China officially overtook Japan to become the world's second largest economy, and is implementing a domestic spending program to further support and develop its internal consumer demand, which will continue to drive interest in imported products. U.S. exports to China reached record levels last year at $103.8 billion; the market now represents the state's third largest foreign market with $275 million of Maine products exported in 2011.
"We are going where the growth and opportunity is for Maine's major industry sectors," indicates Governor Paul LePage. "Asia represents an increasingly important market for our natural resource products including pulp and paper, forestry, agricultural and seafood products."
The mission will be taking place in coordination with the Asian Seafood Exposition in Hong Kong where many Maine seafood companies expect to exhibit. Maine live and frozen lobster exports escalated from just $110,000 exported in 2010 to nearly $1.5 million in 2011. International education will be another focus of the mission. At present, approximately 1,000 Chinese students are enrolled in the state's schools, with a large majority at the high school level and a smaller but growing number at the university level.
The Maine International Trade Center will be coordinating the mission with the US Department of Commerce, who identifies numerous market opportunities in these and other fields as biotech and medical products; aircraft and advanced materials; environmental technologies; and tourism.
"This will be a horizontal mission," explains Maine International Trade Center president Janine B. Cary. "We have been getting increased demand across all sectors for trade assistance related to China. We believe this will be a very successful mission for manufacturers as well as service providers."
The China mission, which is open to all Maine-based companies, will run from September 9--15, 2012. More information, including registration material, is available on Maine International Trade Center's website at www.mitc.com or contact MITC Asia Desk Director Tory Atwell at firstname.lastname@example.org