Alaska trade mission set to visit China
Trade representative from the state of Alaska will travel to China this month in an effort to drum up more markets for Alaskan goods.
A 15-member team representing Alaska businesses is scheduled to travel to Beijing and Tianjin in mid-April to meet with the Chinese government and business officials including the Ministry of Commerce, the Civil Aviation Administration of China, the Beijing Investment Promotion Bureau, the Li Qiao Free Trade Zone and others.
The trade mission grew out of memoranda of understanding signed by representatives from China and Alaska in 2006 and 2007.
The mission's timing is tied to the recent growth of China as a market for Alaskan exports. Last year, China overtook South Korea as the second-largest importer of Alaskan goods, a position held by South Korea for more than 30 years.
'The goal of this trip is to continue connecting Anchorage businesses with relevant counterparts in China,' said Bill Popp, president and chief executive officer of the Anchorage Economic Development Corp. 'Our partners continue to promote Alaska products such as wild Alaska seafood and tourism.'
China is a major importer of Alaskan seafood, minerals and forest products. Last year, exports of Alaska seafood to China increased by 27.1 percent to $411 million.
AEDC, a non-profit organization with members representing business in south central Alaska, is coordinating the trade delegation.