This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Oct. 26, 2011 - Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon has announced $200 million in trade agreements between Missouri and Hebei Province, its sister territory in China. The deals are in addition to a $4.4 billion export agreement that Nixon announced earlier during his eight-day trip to China.
According to Nixon's staff, the latest agreements consist of a deal to increase Missouri exports to Hebei Province by $100 million over the next three years, and an agreement to "work with the Missouri Department of Economic Development to facilitate an additional $100 million in investment in Missouri by Chinese businesses as well."
Separately, Nixon said that two St. Louis companies -- Arcturis, an architectural design firm, and Mediomics, a biomedical research firm -- "also closed and signed agreements with customers in Hebei."
"When Missouri businesses sell more goods overseas, it creates jobs at home and moves our economy forward," Nixon said. "This trade mission is delivering tangible results for Missouri businesses and helping them open new doors in the Chinese market. We're also laying a solid foundation for continued growth in the years to come."
Nixon is leading a delegation of about 60 people, many of them business leaders or politicians, who have been in China since last Saturday. The entourage arrived in Shijiazhuang, the capital of Hebei, on Tuesday. The delegation now has left for Shanghai.
Earlier, while in Beijing, Nixon said he addressed members of the American Chamber of Commerce, and "highlighted the importance of increasing Missouri exports to China to create jobs at home."
"We want Missouri businesses to sell more of their outstanding goods to Chinese customers, whether they're selling corn or chemicals, soybeans or steel," Nixon said in his remarks. "Because we know that when Missouri businesses sell goods here in China, it creates jobs for more people back at home."
According to his staff, the goverrnor "also stressed the advantages Missouri offers in fields such as agriculture, animal health, transportation and advanced manufacturing in his remarks to the chamber."
Over the next few days, Nixon is slated to meet with The CHINT Group, a solar-manufacturing firm in Hongzhou and "close an export and investment agreement with the Zhejiang Provincial Government," his staff said.
On Friday, Nixon's schedule includes an address before the American Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai. The delegation is expected to return to Missouri this weekend.