Maryland governor leads mission to China
A total of more than 40 events and meetings have been scheduled for Hogan’s three-nation tour.
“The mission will strengthen ties and increase trade and investment with one of the world’s fastest growing economic regions,” the governor’s agenda says. “In addition, the mission will promote Maryland as the gateway to the US market for companies from Korea, China and Japan, and position Maryland companies for new trade and investment opportunities in foreign markets.”
The delegation includes more than 30 people from the state government, businesses and the University of Maryland.
Hogan’s wife, Yumi, who was born in South Korea and is a frequent hostess of events for Asian Americans in Maryland, is also along on the trip.
Nathaniel Ahrens, director of China Affairs at the University of Maryland, said the university has a long history of collaboration with China, from welcoming its first Chinese student in 1915, to hosting the famous Ping-Pong Diplomacy matches in 1972, to establishing the first Confucius Institute in North America, now the oldest in the world.
“We hope this trip will provide materials for yet another exciting chapter in the relationship,” said Ahrens, who will join Governor Hogan for the China leg of the trip.
China is the third-largest export market for Maryland, trailing only Canada and Saudi Arabia, with $714 million worth of Maryland goods — mainly copper, paper products and aluminum — exported to China in 2014.
Meanwhile, China exported $3.1 billion worth of goods to Maryland, making it the second-largest importer for Maryland, behind Germany. Top Chinese exports include furniture, telephony products and toys.
In total, more than 50 Marylandbased companies, such as Perdue Farms, Marriott International, and Under Armour, have made footholds in China, according to the DBED.
Further information provided by the DBED showed that these companies’ operations in China have been established to serve the Asian market, rather than as a platform from which to simply export back to the US, an explanation clearly designed to counter domestic Maryland was home to 28 Chineseowned companies. Half of these companies entered the state with Greenfield projects and their activities are focused on Maryland’s key innovation sectors, including biotechnology, pharmaceuticals and advanced energy technology, taking advantage of the strong research network at the state’s universities and the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
The DBED operates the Maryland Center China. Founded in 1996 and based in Shanghai with 25 full-time and part-time employees, the center is regarded as the oldest and among the largest and strongest of any of the 50 US states’ China offices.
Maryland has a 35-year-old “sister” relationship with East China’s Anhui province and its city of Baltimore also boasts a 30-year tie with Xiamen, a coastal city in East China’s Fujian province.
There are 69,381 Chinese Americans living in Maryland, which has a total population of 5.9 million. Chinese Americans constitute the second-largest ethnic Asian constituency in the state, behind only Indian Americans, according to the 2010 US Census and 2013 American Community Survey.