Utah Delegation Embarks on Third Trade Mission to China

Pete CodellaNews

A team of business executives and government officials left today for China on a trade mission conducted by the Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED). The delegation will be visiting the cities of Shanghai and Beijing, with the purpose of furthering economic connections with their Chinese counterparts in those regions.

This trade mission is designed to grow business opportunities between Utah and China by helping Utah companies find potential business partners and distributors in China. In conjunction with the Utah office of the U.S. Foreign Commercial Service, the International Trade and Diplomacy Office at GOED has worked closely with each participant to ensure that the trip helps meet his/her company’s goals in the Chinese market.

The mission also seeks to increase opportunities for foreign investment coming from China into the state of Utah. “Our team is taking a strategic approach to attract foreign investment into Utah,” said Brett Heimburger, director of International Trade and Diplomacy. Heimburger explained that the trade mission’s itinerary includes one-on-one meetings with Chinese companies who may be exploring opportunities to invest in the U.S. “The purpose of the meetings will be to direct the attention of these potential investors to the quality of life, low costs of doing business and the high caliber workforce that can be found in Utah.”

For the last three years, Pollina Corporate, Forbes Magazine and CNBC have ranked Utah as a “Best State for Business.” With its friendly regulations and low tax costs, paired with a strong workforce and high quality of life, global recognition is now a fact, and companies around the world are looking to Utah as a premier destination for doing business.

This will be the third government-led trade mission conducted in China within the past five years, and the success from past missions is fueling this one forward.

“GOED (…) was wonderful in helping me make connections in China that would have been very difficult on my own, even with my current Chinese partners,” stated Tracy Rogers, director of Selnate International School and one of the participants from last year’s trade mission. “The care that the GOED staff took in attention to detail and concern for the success of every part of the missions gave me confidence in their abilities.”

“My goal for this trade mission was to explore doing business in China, and I am pleased that these companies are interested in establishing a formal working relationship and that this took such a short time to accomplish,” commented David Utrilla, president and chief executive from U.S. Translation Company who also joined last year’s China trade mission.

China is no longer the “sleeping lion” it was once claimed to be, but is well awake and roaring. With the world’s largest population of 1.37 billion and the second largest GDP, China is the fastest growing U.S. inbound market, and represents a myriad of economic opportunities for both exports and foreign direct investment.

Utah’s exports to Greater China in 2013 totaled an impressive $6.9 billion, approximately 40 percent of our total exports for that year. Utah also received the Sustainable Development Award in March at the annual U.S.-China Sister Cities Conference in Washington, D.C. The award recognizes the collaboration between Utah and the province of Qinghai—a sister-city relationship established in 2011—on conducting economic development without the depletion of natural resources. Both countries have likewise established major partnership agreements between Utah and Chinese universities, and the state of Utah conducts more Mandarin immersion classes than anywhere else in the U.S. Chinese tourism in Utah has flourished in recent years as well, with more than 2,000 tourist group visiting the state annually.

Building upon Utah’s close ties with China, the Utah delegation on this trip is composed of the following companies: Albion, D-Tect Systems, Deloitte, Ludaxx, MRI, Pixio, Sunrise International, SupraNaturals, Weber Law, and Zions Bank. Also attending the trade mission are representatives from the Governor’s Office of Economic Development, as well as our trade representative for China, Cynthia Chen.  In China, other Utah companies, including NuSkin, Chums, USANA, etc. will also participate.

While it may be too late to join the China trade mission delegation, companies wishing to grow their exports should register to attend the Utah Global Forum, presented by Governor Herbert on September 24. This event is a chance to interact with international leaders who have effectively grown within the export ecosystem. The forum will also include experts on China. Recognizing that 95 percent of American clients are outside of the U.S., now’s the time to establish a presence in the international market. To participate, go to UtahGlobalForum.com.