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Idaho business leaders praise China trade mission

Associated Press Associated Press 16/11/2016

NAMPA, Idaho — Business leaders who traveled with Idaho Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter on his recent trade mission to China say the trip was a success.

Business leaders say they will likely see a lasting impact as a result of the trade meetings, KIVI-TV reported (http://bit.ly/2fgKgFh ).

"The interest we received in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou was a reflection of the great products and services we were promoting, along with the tremendous market potential that remains in China," Otter said.

Otter and representatives of the state's milk, potato, wheat and hay industries visited Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou between Oct. 28 and Nov. 5 to promote trade among the cities.

Otter said personal relationships are important to business deals in China, meaning the trip was invaluable for future deals.

"Status and title mean everything," Idaho Potato Commission Vice President Seth Pemsler said. "By introducing key prospects and customers to the Governor, who was gracious to take pictures with everyone that asked, we began the process of a relationship that leads to business success in China."

Idaho's exports to China totaled $560 million in 2015 — an increase of more than 16 percent from 2014 that makes China the second-largest export market for Idaho.

Jos Zamzow, Chief Operating Officer for Catalyst, a division of Dynamite, said the trade mission to China was a major success.

"The state staff set up great meetings with new potential customers, helped us arrange to meet with our current customers, and even helped with the logistics," he said. "To top it all off, we got to have the Governor sit in on a meeting with one of our customers. His friendly, likable demeanor and tremendous experience really sealed the deal."

Kirk Hansen, Kyäni Founder and Chairman of the Board, said the meetings with Otter will open doors for future success in the Chinese market.

"Governor Otter and the Idaho Commerce Department were able to open doors for us we would not have been able to open on our own," he said.

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Information from: KIVI-TV, http://www.scrippsmedia.com/kivitv

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