Governor’s Address 9/15
Hello, this is Governor Paul LePage
There is a Chinese proverb that goes “one generation plants the trees, another gets the shade.” With my administration’s recent trade mission to China, I felt this proverb could not be more fitting.
As the world’s second-largest economy, China provides a huge market for Maine goods. In fact, over the last 5 years, Maine has increased its exports to China by 97 percent. In recent years, we have been growing diversity in the types of exports Maine is sending to China, which shows that the time is right for our state to connect to and grow its Chinese markets. The time and investment we make now will not only lead to a stronger and more prosperous economy in Maine, but will allow our future generations to reap the benefits of these efforts as well. Economic seeds we plant today will grow to benefit our future children and grandchildren.
One particularly promising market is in China’s high demand for seafood. Each year, Hong Kong hosts the Asian Seafood Expo, which brings seafood producers and buyers from around the world to establish new markets and partnerships to meet their seafood needs. Not only did Maine businesses participate in this expo, we also set up an event prior to the show to promote Maine’s most famous export. The event was booked to capacity by major import distributers, restaurant buyers, and retail purchasers who were all looking to increase their consumption of Maine lobster. This is very promising news for Maine’s commercial fishing and export industries.
Right now, the Chinese refer to the lobster they import as Boston lobster. Who’s heard of Boston lobster? We shared with them the quality of the Maine lobster and why our product is considered number one.
Seafood is not all that Maine brought to China. Representatives from high tech industries, biological science companies, raw material exporters, and many other areas of Maine’s diverse economy joined us to bring their goods and services to China. Yale Cordage, which manufactures high-quality rope and cords for the marine, industrial, military, and commercial sectors, was one such company. Last year, they took part in the Maine International Trade Center’s trade mission to Brazil and Chile, and found it extremely useful for developing new and high-demand markets for their products. Like many, they have an interest in expanding their exports to China, and saw this as a perfect opportunity to do so.
The delegation which traveled to China all have one thing in common: they are proud Maine businesses providing jobs to our state, strengthening our economy, and making Maine a place where our future children and grandchildren can grow and thrive. Please join me in wishing them all the best of luck as they continue to build the relationships and markets which will keep our economy strong and thriving. Their work will bring prosperity to Maine for years to come.