Lt. Governor Owen leads mission to China
Lt. Governor Brad Owen will depart for a trade and goodwill mission to China on Saturday, June 27, where he will meet with leaders in two provinces, visit with schoolchildren and sign an agreement to promote business and friendship exchanges between his office and Hainan Province in southern China.
For the first time, the lieutenant governor invites Washington residents to share his weeklong travels by following along on a new blog to be updated along the way. Postings on the blog, found at http://www.overseaswithbrad.blogspot.com/, will be by the lieutenant governor or his chief of staff, Juliette Schindler Kelly, who will accompany him on the mission.
After a brief overnight in Beijing and dinner with Ambassador Ding Yuanhong, the lieutenant governor will travel to the city of Qingdao in Shandong Province on China’s east coast, where he will witness the signing of an economic development agreement between a Seattle-based investment group under US sponsorship and local investment firm agents from the region.
He will also visit the city of Haikou in the south east province of Hainan, where he will meet with Jiang Sixian, the vice governor of Hainan, and other provincial leaders. The lieutenant governor will sign an agreement “to promote people-to-people friendly contacts and economic and trade interflow between the two sides, and actively carry out exchanges and cooperation in the fields of tourism, culture, education and others.”
The lieutenant governor is also scheduled to visit an elementary school in that province – something he tries to do on nearly every foreign mission he takes.
This will be the lieutenant governor’s eighth mission to China since being elected as the state’s second-in-command in 1996.
“It is very important, especially in these lean economic times, to strengthen our international relationships and find new ways to stimulate trade,” Lt. Governor Owen said. “These missions help keep Washington state visible with our top trading partners.”
Mainland China was one of the state’s leading export destinations in 2008, with exports totaling nearly $10 billion. The mission, coordinated by Seattle businessman Ron Chow, is hosted by the Chinese government.