Gov. Scott Walker on Thursday announced the opening of the Wisconsin Center China to give Wisconsin businesses expanded access to growing markets.
The center officially opened today in conjunction with Walker’s trade mission to China. Four agreements of intent were signed in conjunction with the opening ceremony.
“This trade center strengthens our relationship with China and provides Wisconsin businesses the resources and assistance to pursue export opportunities in this growing market,” Walker said. “Through the years, Wisconsin has built a strong trade relationship with China, and the opening of the Wisconsin Center China will help Wisconsin businesses continue to strengthen our trade relationships and grow export opportunities.”
China remains an important and viable market for key Wisconsin exports, including industrial machinery, medical equipment, clean energy, clean water technologies, and agricultural products. China is Wisconsin’s third-largest export market. In 2012, exports to China increased by 11.8 percent to $1.5 billion.
“The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) identified China as a priority market with high growth potential,” said Lora Klenke, vice president of international business development for the WEDC. “WEDC has undertaken an aggressive strategy to help Wisconsin businesses pursue global markets to grow the state’s economy and job opportunities.”
For the Wisconsin Center China, WEDC contracts with trade representatives, who are marketing and business consultants, to provide market assessments, partner searches, and business meeting facilitation. WEDC’s market development directors, based in Madison, Wisconsin, help companies identify specific needs and answer high-level questions about the market. If needed, they direct businesses to the organization’s trade representatives for additional assistance.
During the opening, three agreements were signed with the Shanghai Dairy Group (SDG) and one was signed with Miller Electric in Appleton. The first letter of intent with SDG is for the purchase of animal feed products from Badger State Ethanol in Monroe through 2015.
Shanghai Dairy also agreed to purchase feed and equipment from Wisconsin through 2015. The agreement makes the state the preferred supplier of feed, equipment, and technical support for SDG. Additionally, Shanghai Dairy reached an agreement with the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Babcock Institute to provide advanced training for SDG farm managers over the next three years.