Earlier this week, Governor Scott Walker's op-ed titled "Global Opportunities for Wisconsin Businesses" appeared in the 21st Century Business Herald in China and other Chinese media outlets. The full text of the op-ed is below:
Global Opportunities for Wisconsin Businesses
Leading Wisconsin's trade mission to China will strengthen our relationship with your country, build trade ties between Wisconsin firms and Chinese businesses and investors, and reinforce the strong position Wisconsin has in the global marketplace.
Our trade mission will include meetings in Beijing, Shanghai, Tianjin, with in-depth, one-on-one meetings in each location. I look forward to meeting with Wisconsin businesses already operating in China.
More than 20 representatives from Wisconsin businesses, the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation, and the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection will join me on this trade mission. The companies participating in the trade mission represent the some of the strongest sectors of Wisconsin's economy, such as advanced manufacturing; environmental and water remediation; clean energy production, storage, and distribution; and food processing and safety.
China is an important market for key Wisconsin exports, including industrial machinery, medical equipment, clean energy and clean water technologies, and agricultural products. China is Wisconsin's third largest export market. In 2012, exports to China increased by 11.8 percent--totaling $1.5 billion. Throughout the trade mission, my main goal will be to promote Wisconsin-based businesses and the high-quality products and services they can provide to consumers and citizens in China.
Wisconsin has been building strong trade ties with China for years. Wisconsin and Heilongjiang have a 30-year sister-state relationship in multiple areas including government, education at college and grade school levels, training, agriculture, and dairy genetics. I'm hopeful the Wisconsin delegation's presence will further cement the already strong ties and encourage growth in the future benefiting citizens from both Heilongjiang and Wisconsin.
I will also be participating in the U.S.-China Governors Forum taking place in Beijing, sponsored by the National Governors Association and the Chinese People's Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries. This is just another example of how we can work together to promote positive state-to-state relations between our two countries.
One area I am specifically focused on is Wisconsin's clean energy and water technologies. In Shanghai, our delegation will be hosting the Wisconsin Water Forum with the China GreenTech Initiative to bring together leading academics, policy makers, and commercial organizations to identify policies and technologies, which will result in mutually beneficial results for both China and Wisconsin.
Beyond just water technology, we will also be sharing information regarding Wisconsin's world class equipment and manufactured products, industrial machinery and mechanical devices, and agricultural products. I'm hopeful we can foster additional trade opportunities by entering into agreements and memorandums of understanding between Wisconsin and Chinese businesses.
Beyond trade, our delegation will be working to attract foreign direct investment in Wisconsin. The State of Wisconsin will continue to connect foreign investors to Wisconsin companies to create jobs, expand supply chains, open doors to new markets, and provide needed investment dollars.
There are a huge number of opportunities for both Wisconsin businesses and Chinese consumers. With 96 percent of the world's population consuming products outside the U.S. and one billion people expected to join the global middle class in the next decade, we will continue to help Wisconsin-based businesses aggressively seek opportunities outside the U.S.
China will continue to be an important market for key Wisconsin exports including machinery equipment, medical equipment, environmental and clean energy equipment, and a range of services. China's economic growth holds great promise for Wisconsin businesses.
On behalf of our state's 5.7 million citizens, I would like to thank those involved in both the U.S. and China who have been a part of planning and making this trade mission a reality. As the leader of the great State of Wisconsin, I am optimistic about the opportunities we have to partner together to help create jobs and grow our economies.
Governor of Wisconsin