Governor's trade mission delegation prepares to visit China
Alaska is no doubt beautiful with its majestic mountains, glaciers and northern lights displays.
At Alaska Skylar Travel, COO Jin Chen says it’s their job to make sure Chinese speaking visitors to the 49th State have the opportunity to see it all.
“Tourism is defiantly a very strong growing market,” Chen said. “It’s a renewable resource that we can use for generations and provides tons of employment locally here in Alaska.”
Chen’s company alone serves 10,000 people each year, which is among the reason's she applied to be part of Governor Bill Walker’s Opportunity Alaska: China Trade Mission Delegation.
The delegation, which departs later this month, is made up of 27 Alaska businesses including fisheries, native corporations and tourism, as well as a baby food maker, an architecture firm and a university.
Each participant was chosen to highlight the best Alaska has to offer with the state's largest trade partner.
At RIM Architects, CEO Larry Cash says he joined because he supports the governor’s proposed pipeline and building stronger relationships with China.
“Yes, we'll be looking for work opportunities but that's not the primary reason we're going,” Cash said. “We're going to look for the bigger picture to help advance our state's economy. If we can do that we will benefit.”
Private equity firm PT capital hope its role in the trade mission will lead to new investments, similar to its projects in other countries.
“I think it’s going to be a very good group of people to show the depth breath and expertise of Alaskans, Alaska companies and the ability for Alaska to be on the world stage and a place that people should pay attention to,” PT Capital founder Hugh Short said.
China is Alaska’s largest trading partner with over $1.3 billion exported in 2017, according to the governor’s office.
While members of the China trade mission delegation are certainly diverse they share a common goal: empowering Alaska businesses both at home and abroad.
The delegation and Governor Walker will travel to China May 19 through May 30.
The governor’s office says the group will meet with economic partners, potential customers and industry and government officials.
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