Lt. Governor Brian Schatz – “Why China Matters to Hawaii”

Aloha everyone,

Media from Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangzhou visited Hawai‘i this summer and heard the message that Hawai‘i is a great place to visit and do business.  They saw our world class observatories on Mauna Kea, visited cutting-edge health sciences and energy projects, and enjoyed our beautiful environment and warm hospitality.
As a result, millions of people have seen positive stories about Hawai‘i, in newspapers, on television and on computers throughout China.
This is part of this administration’s overall effort to build a strong relationship with China.  China matters to Hawai‘i.  Here’s why:
Tourism
China is becoming an important market for Hawai‘i.  Chinese visitation is growing by double digits every year and these visitors stay longer and spend more than visitors from other markets.  Governor Abercrombie recently welcomed the first direct flight from Shanghai, and we are working on securing additional direct flights from China. This will mean more jobs, more tax revenues and more opportunities for Hawai‘i’s businesses.
Trade
High-end Chinese consumers are attracted to the Hawai‘i “brand” and want authentic, top quality agriculture and other products.  Working with the Department of Business Economic Development and Tourism, buyers will come to Hawai‘i in a few weeks to select local products for retail markets in major cities across China.  Local companies now have an opportunity to export locally produced products to an enormous new market.
Energy
Chinese officials here and in China have expressed to me a keen interest in our clean energy projects.  There is ample opportunity for partnership in this area whether it’s deployment of electric vehicles or other clean energy technologies.  In fact, several of our local renewable energy companies, particularly in solar, already have business partnerships with Chinese entities.
With APEC coming up, interest in Hawai‘i has never been greater, and so we are working hard to build the long-term relationships that will strengthen our economy for the next generation.

Aloha,

Brian Schatz
Lieutenant Governor
ltgov@hawaii.gov

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