Minnesota Trade Office accepting applications for China trade missionThe Minnesota Trade Office (MTO) is accepting applications for a trade mission to China led by Gov. Mark Dayton on June 8-17.
The Minnesota Trade Office (MTO) is accepting applications for a trade mission to China led by Gov. Mark Dayton on June 8-17. Delegates will travel with the governor to Shanghai, Beijing and Xian, meet with high ranking business leaders and government officials, attend networking events, and explore trade and investment opportunities.
The goal of the mission is to gain market knowledge and business contacts, identify opportunities to increase exports and attract investment, support Minnesota's existing business in China and promote Minnesota as a great place to do business.
"China is the most populous country in the world and Minnesota's second-largest export market," said MTO Executive Director Katie Clark. "Governor Dayton's leadership on this trade mission will open doors for Minnesota businesses, agriculture producers, tourism and higher education institutions."
Minnesota manufacturers exported $1.8 billion in products to China in 2010, an increase of 45 percent from the previous year. The top three industries were machinery ($506 million), computers and electronics ($442 million), and paper ($162 million). Another $1.35 billion in state agricultural commodities and related food products were sold to China in 2010, accounting for 27 percent of Minnesota's total agricultural exports that year. Minnesota agricultural exports to China have jumped 800 percent in the past decade.
Minnesota companies doing business in China include 3M, Cargill, St. Jude Medical, Target, General Mills and Medtronic.
During the trade mission, Gov. Dayton and the delegation will travel to Xian to celebrate Minnesota's 30th anniversary of its sister-state relationship with the Shaanxi Province. Gov. Zhao of the Shaanxi Province and a delegation of his economic advisers visited Minnesota in April 2011. The two governors have already developed a strong relationship and are looking to advance economic interests between the two regions.
This is Gov. Dayton's second major trade trip to Asia. Last year, he led a trade mission to the Republic of Korea that included a visit to Japan.
The cost of the China trade mission is estimated at $8,000 to $8,500 per person, including round-trip airfare, ground transportation, hotel accommodations, mission events and in-country assistance from the Minnesota Trade Office. Qualified small businesses accepted to participate in the mission will be eligible for reduced mission fees through the STEP Assistance for Small Business program, funded in part by the U.S. Small Business Administration and administered by MTO.
Companies or organizations interested in sending delegates on the trade mission should contact Li King Feng at Li.King.Feng@state.mn.us or 651-259-7484. Application materials and other details are available at www.tinyurl.com/ChinaTradeMission. The application deadline is March 15.