Recently, the Minneapolis Saint Paul Regional Economic Development Partnership (GREATER MSP) and the Minnesota Trade Office (MTO) unveiled their co-located offices in Shanghai.
The Greater MSP China Center aims to increase foreign direct investment in the Greater Minneapolis Saint Paul metropolitan area as well as promote trade between member companies and China while the Minnesota China Trade Office will focus on increasing Minnesota exports to China with the goal of stimulating the Minnesota economy and creating new economic opportunities through foreign direct investment for the entire state of Minnesota.
The Minnesota China Trade Office will also support government relations between Minnesota and China. The two distinct offices form a public-private joint effort that will mutually support each other’s goals to the benefit of the Minnesota economy and its companies. The announcement was made during the middle of Governor Mark Dayton’s 10-day State of Minnesota Mission to China, of which 50 Minnesota business, agriculture and higher education leaders are a part.
During the unveiling, Michael Langley, CEO of GREATER MSP stated, “We have set the ambitious goal to stimulate 100,000 new jobs in the Minneapolis Saint Paul region by 2016. We see GREATER MSP China Center’s role in developing relationships with Chinese companies as an integral component in that growth. We are excited to more actively engage with the China market and believe that our region’s strengths will greatly benefit our Chinese partners while continuing to stimulate our regional economy.” Mr. Langley is happy to be working with the same professional team as the Minnesota China Trade Office.
“Entering a new foreign market or expanding existing operations requires sound market intelligence, experienced technical expertise and key business connections,” said Katie Clark, director of the Minnesota Trade Office. “Since 2005 our China Trade Office has provided these essentials for companies exploring this market. We are thrilled to announce this new China Trade Office and partnership with the GREATER MSP China Center, which will maximize our efforts and guide companies looking for new growth opportunities in the China market.
Governor Dayton was at the ceremony to show his support for both offices. “I am pleased to see the State is aligned with our private sector through the leadership of GREATER MSP to expand the economic relationship between Minnesota and China. I know that there will be great accomplishments achieved by this partnership in the years ahead,” stated the Governor.
China is already a key market for Minnesota companies. In 2011, Minnesota exported approximately $2.3 billion of products and services to China, making China the 2nd largest export market for the State and the largest for agricultural products. Minnesota is home to 19 of US Fortune 500 companies, many of whom have already made a footprint in China.