Inslee plans first China trade mission as governor

By Venice Buhain
Northwest Asian Weekly

Gov. Jay Inslee

In November, Gov. Jay Inslee will be embarking on his first trade mission as governor to China.

Inslee will be in China Nov. 11-18, according to his spokeswoman, Jaime Smith. The trip includes a stop in Tokyo on Nov. 9.

Ron Chow, cofounder and CEO of the Seattle Pacific Trading Company, is helping to organize the visit and said that the governor’s first trade mission to China is an opportunity for Washington business.

“Anytime a sitting governor is there to promote the state of Washington, it’s important,” Chow said. “We’re the only state with a trade surplus with China, not a deficit.”

The itinerary is not final, but the schedule so far includes Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen, his office reported. Inslee is slated to be the keynote speaker at a biotechnology convention in Beijing on Nov. 12, according to the Seattle Times.

Smith said that Inslee plans to talk with business leaders in China about Washington exports, including clean technology, biotechnology, agriculture products, and Washington wine.

Inslee’s office told the Northwest Asian Weekly that about 40 people, largely from the business sector, will be part of the trade delegation, which will be funded by the Host Fund of Washington, a nonprofit.

The economic growth in China is good news for Washington state businesses, and it’s important for the governor to represent the state, Chow said.

“China is in a buying mode,” he said. “We’re in a very good position to offer what we have.” (end)

Venice Buhain can be reached at

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