The office of Gov. Terry E. Branstad and Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds today released the governor's prepared statement from today's media conference call.
The remarks, as prepared for delivery, were as follows:
Good evening, or should I say, good morning in Iowa. Director Durham and I are calling you from Iowa's sister state in China, the Province of Hebei, and it is 10:15 P.M. here in China. We just finished our last full day of our trade mission and are headed back to Iowa tomorrow. Our trade mission has been extremely productive with visits to the four cities of Beijing, Tianjin, Baoding City and Shijiazhuang, all in four days.
The focus of this trade mission has been on promoting Iowa's global partnership with China, especially in the areas of expanded trade and direct investment in Iowa. Throughout the trip, we have had numerous business meetings with current purchasers of Iowa exports or potential business partners.
Earlier this week, I also led a group of U.S. governors in a governors' forum with five Chinese governors through the National Governors Association. Governor Scott Walker of Wisconsin and Governor Bob McDonnell were the participating governors from the United States.
On Monday, I also had the tremendous honor of being the first governor from the United States to meet China's new President, Xi Jinping. Our meeting lasted over 45 minutes. President Xi spoke highly of his history with the state and the people of Iowa. He even recalled the menu from the state dinner we held on February 15, 2012, and the delicious corn, soybean, pork and beef that we ate.
We also discussed the importance of continued partnerships between the people of Iowa and the people of China. As the new leader of China, a country of over 1.3 billion people, we know that this meeting and our partnership with China will be very beneficial as we look to the future, especially in the areas of trade and economic partnership.
Lastly, we also celebrated the 30th anniversary of the Iowa-Hebei sister state relationship. I signed the original agreement in 1983 establishing the sister state relationship between the state of Iowa and Hebei province. It was an honor to recognize this anniversary 30 years later in Hebei.
It is no secret that this sister state relationship has been very beneficial to the people of Iowa and we look forward to more success in the future with this unique partnership. And now, I would be happy to answer your questions.