Wisconsin Department of Commerce Newsletter
January 2004
Gov. Doyle to Lead Business Development Mission to China
China represents one of Wisconsin's best export opportunities. It is our fastest-growing market. Through October 2003 exports to China were up 39.34 percent over the same period in 2002, and China had jumped from our sixth-largest to our fourth largest customer.

That is why Gov. Jim Doyle has decided to lead a business development mission to China from March 19-30 with stops in Beijing, Shanghai, Nanjing, and Hong Kong. The goal of the mission is to increase Wisconsin exports to the world's fastest growing market. The Governor will be meeting with Chinese government officials to discuss the lifting of non-tariff barriers that have prevented some Wisconsin exporters from selling in China. Business sector participants of the mission will have individually scheduled appointments with potential agents, distributors, and customers. The mission is also intended to attract Chinese investment to Wisconsin.

Business meetings with government officials in Beijing are important for many sectors. Beijing will be hosting the 2008 Olympic Games, which will present many opportunities for Wisconsin firms.

Shanghai is the booming hub of China's new private sector economy. A new wave of investment and infrastructure development is resulting from Shanghai's selection as the site for 2010 World Expo.

Nanjing, capital of Jiangsu Province, is one of the "second tier" cities that presents new, less-known opportunities for Wisconsin exporters. A new regional initiative, the Yangzte River Regional Development Plan, covers the 250 miles from Shanghai to Nanjing and will be attracting government attention and investment. Of special interest is sustainable development including energy efficient products, "green" appliances, and environmental technologies.

Jiangsu is one of China's most economically vibrant provinces. In 2002 the province's per capita GDP was $1743, the fifth highest in China. In the first half of 2003 Jiangsu's GDP climbed 13%. The province has the third highest trade volume in China. In the first half of last year businesses in the province exported $24.5 billion and imported $22.9 billion worth of products.

Hong Kong has long served as a major trading hub, both for China and the neighboring region. Although it has reverted to Chinese rule, Hong Kong is a Special Administrative Region with its own regulatory and legal system. It is also a major financial center for Asia.

This mission has drawn tremendous interest from Wisconsin businesses. With over 70 participants, this will be the largest international business delegation seeking to promote Wisconsin exports and investment opportunities in the state.

-- Cory L. Nettles, Secretary

The newsletter is issued electronically every other month.

Please send comments or questions to Barbro McGinn, editor.

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