Governor Scott Walker announced the opening of the Wisconsin Center China to give Wisconsin businesses expanded access to growing markets. The center officially opened today in conjunction with Governor Walker's Trade Mission to China. Four agreements of intent were signed in conjunction with the opening ceremony.
"This trade center strengthens our relationship with China and provides Wisconsin businesses the resources and assistance to pursue export opportunities in this growing market," Governor Walker said. "Through the years, Wisconsin has built a strong trade relationship with China, and the opening of the Wisconsin Center China will help Wisconsin businesses continue to strengthen our trade relationships and grow export opportunities."
China remains an important and viable market for key Wisconsin exports, including industrial machinery, medical equipment, clean energy, clean water technologies, and agricultural products. China is Wisconsin's third largest export market. In 2012, exports to China increased by 11.8 percent to $1.5 billion.
"The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) identified China as a priority market with high growth potential," said Lora Klenke, Vice President of International Business Development for the WEDC. "WEDC has undertaken an aggressive strategy to help Wisconsin businesses pursue global markets to grow the state's economy and job opportunities."
WEDC announced in February it had expanded its global trade assistance for Wisconsin companies from four to 36 countries. In addition to the office in China, the network includes trade representatives in Canada, Brazil, Mexico, Australia, New Zealand, India, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, Oman, Poland, Czech Republic, Ukraine, Russia, South Korea, Indonesia, United Kingdom, France, Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, and Germany. The network also includes 10 South African countries: South Africa, Botswana, Mauritius, Malawi, Namibia, Lesotho, Swaziland, Mozambique, Tanzania, and Zambia.
For the Wisconsin Center China, WEDC contracts with trade representatives, who are marketing and business consultants, to provide market assessments, partner searches, and business meeting facilitation. WEDC's market development directors, based in Madison, Wisconsin, help companies identify specific needs and answer high-level questions about the market. If needed, they direct businesses to the organization's trade representatives for additional assistance.
During the opening, three agreements were signed with the Shanghai Dairy Group (SDG) and one was signed with Miller Electric (Appleton). The first letter of intent with SDG is for the purchase of animal feed products from Badger State Ethanol (Monroe) through 2015. This is the first ever animal feed product purchase between a Wisconsin company and Shanghai Dairy.
Shanghai Dairy also agreed to purchase feed and equipment from the State of Wisconsin through 2015. This agreement makes the State the preferred supplier of feed, equipment, and technical support for SDG. Additionally, Shanghai Dairy reached an agreement with the University of Wisconsin-Madison's Babcock Institute to provide advanced training for SDG farm managers over the next three years.
The final signing at the Wisconsin China Center opening was between Miller Electric and Shanghai Beigong Materials Co., Ltd.. This signing announces the purchase of 50 Auto Axcess welding systems by Shanghai Huizhong Automotive Manufacturing Co. Ltd.. The systems were built in Appleton, WI and were developed to enable customers to manufacture products faster with high quality standards.
The WEDC leads economic development efforts for the state by advancing Wisconsin's business climate. WEDC nurtures business growth and job creation by providing resources, technical support, and financial assistance to companies, partners, and communities in Wisconsin. Visit www.inwisconsin.com or follow WEDC on Twitter @_InWisconsin to learn more.
Learn more about the China mission trip online at www.inwisconsin.com/chinamission2013 or follow on Twitter at #WIGovChinaTrade for updates on the trip.