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Governor O'Malley Kicks Off Economic Development Mission to Asia, Arrives in Shanghai

Press Release

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Joined by a 68-member delegation of Maryland business leaders and educators, Governor O'Malley today arrived in Shanghai, China and kicked off a 10-day economic development mission to Asia. Governor O'Malley will spend six days in China, then head to Korea and wrap up the mission in Vietnam to boost two-way trade and investment and promote Maryland as an ideal location for foreign-owned companies looking to establish U.S. operations, particularly in life sciences and technology.

Tomorrow, Governor O'Malley will deliver a keynote address to the 13th Shanghai BioForum, which is slated to attract more than 500 global attendees and is one of China's premier biopharmaceutical events. The Governor will then have lunch with Chinese biopharmaceutical executives and in the evening give remarks at the Maryland China Banquet, which will draw more than 300 attendees, including Maryland companies doing business in China as well as Chinese companies looking for U.S. partners. On Friday, June 3, the Governor will deliver remarks at the Johns Hopkins University-Nanjing University Center for Chinese and American Studies, the first major institution in China by a U.S. university, and then speak at the graduation ceremony at the University of Maryland College Park's School of Public Policy in Jiangsu Province. Later that evening, the Governor will attend the Maryland-Jiangsu Partnership Banquet and sign a Memorandum of Friendship and Cooperation with Jiangsu Province's Governor Li Xueyong to increase two-way trade and investment and share information on the bioscience, medical and healthcare industries as well as cultural and educational programs.

On Saturday, June 4, Governor O'Malley will arrive in Beijing and will visit the Great Wall of China and the Forbidden City. On Monday, June 6, the Governor will visit Renmin University, where he will speak on his StateStat initiative, and then attend the Maryland-Anhui Honor Luncheon to celebrate the 30th anniversary of Maryland's Sister-State Relationship with Anhui Province.

"This is a great opportunity for Maryland businesses to enter or expand in Asian markets, and for Asian companies to explore a presence in our State," said Governor O'Malley. "Together with our partners abroad, we can work to invest in innovation, create jobs and leverage opportunities to make our children leaders in this changing new global economy."

"All businesses today, whatever size they may be, rely on a global economy," says Harold L. Adams, the Governor's International Advisory Board Chair and Chairman Emeritus of international architecture practice RTKL. "Because of their long-standing relationships in China and throughout Asia, Maryland businesses especially understand the importance of not just maintaining but strengthening ties with what has become the world's most robust market. Missions like this are good for Maryland and good for Maryland business."

"As a small business owner in Maryland, I am looking forward to meeting with my counterparts in Asia, learning about their products and services, and looking for business opportunities for my firm," said Bel Leong-Hong, President and CEO, KAI, and member of Maryland's Asia mission delegation. "I want to thank the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development for the great care in planning for this trade mission, and arranging for our delegation to meet with businesses in Asia."

Maryland has long maintained a strong presence in China, becoming the first U.S. state in 1996 to open a trade and investment office in China -- the Maryland China Center. In 2010, China was Maryland's 3rd largest export market with $571 million in goods and services, and was the State's 2nd largest import market, with more than $2.6 billion. There are 13 Chinese headquartered companies in Maryland, including U.S. Orchids, an orchid propagation company in Somerset County; Electrical Systems Integrator, an electric tools developer and supplier to Stanley Black and Decker in Baltimore County; and Yisheng U.S. BIOPHARMA, a biopharmaceutical company in Montgomery County. In addition, there are eight Chinese companies in Maryland's International Incubator at University of Maryland, College Park. Maryland is also home to several Chinese organizations, including the Chinese Biopharmaceutical Association and the Maryland China Business Council.

Last year, the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development's Office of International Trade and Investment engaged more than 250 Asian companies, helping to attract six new foreign firms from China and Korea to Maryland. In addition, the Office assisted 75 Maryland companies export their products to Asia, helping to generate $65 million in sales.

Maryland's Office of International Investment and Trade works to stimulate foreign direct investment in the State, offers export assistance for small and mid-sized Maryland companies and coordinates international trade and investment missions and trade show opportunities for Maryland companies. For more information on resources available to business that want to market their products or services globally, visit

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