Kansas Governor Sam Brownback, Agriculture Secretary Dale Rodman and Commerce Secretary Pat George will lead a trade mission to China July 13-19. The delegation will meet with national and provincial leaders in Beijing, Henan Province and Guangdong Province as well as with private business leaders who either currently do business with Kansas or who are interested in doing business with Kansas in the future.
"More than 99 percent of the world's population lives outside Kansas borders. If we are serious about growing the Kansas economy by growing agriculture, we must work to expand opportunities for agriculture outside the Sunflower State," Gov. Brownback said. "Kansas has worked with our sister state, the Henan Province, for more than 30 years, but this trade mission will further solidify that partnership and will lead to increased economic growth potential to benefit both Kansas and Henan."
China is a significant agricultural market for Kansas, accounting for more than $96 million in exports through April 2013. In 2012, Kansas agricultural exports to China totaled more than $533 million, according to Euromonitor International data. The trade mission recognizes China's increasing middle-class population will generate greater demand for food, especially high-quality protein, creating opportunities for increased exports of Kansas agricultural products.
While in Beijing, Governor Brownback, Secretary Rodman and Secretary George will meet with leaders representing the ministries of agriculture, commerce, foreign affairs, energy, education, science and technology and the National Development and Reform Commission. In the Henan Province, the delegation will visit Zhengzhou and meet with provincial leadership and business officials. The delegation will round out the trip with a visit to Guangzhou in the Guangdong Province and meet with both provincial and business leaders.
"For more than 150 years, Kansas farmers and ranchers have fed our state's people and our agricultural producers will play an increasingly important role in feeding the world," Gov. Brownback said. "Establishing relationships with partners around the globe is important to future growth and success in Kansas and in providing food for the global population."