Great Seal of the State of Idaho

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November 15, 2016

CONTACT: Jon Hanian
(208) 334-2100





(BOISE) – Following his recent trade mission to China, Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter reported positive preliminary feedback from participating Idaho companies and organizations.

                “Our recent mission to China was one of the best we’ve had,” Governor Otter said. “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.”

                The October 28-November 5 trade mission was coordinated by the Idaho Department of Commerce and the Idaho State Department of Agriculture. The destination was selected by a survey of Idaho businesses. Participants represented a variety of industry sectors including potatoes, wheat, dairy products, agricultural and temperature-controlled supply chain equipment, dietary supplements, personal care products, forage, animal feed and supplements, recreational vehicle sourcing services, and university research/international education.

                The value of exports significantly contributes to Idaho industries and the state’s economy. Nearly 20 percent of all Idaho agricultural commodities are exported, for a total export value of more than $2 billion in 2015.

                However, it can be difficult to seize foreign market opportunities. Governor-led trade missions are a proven tool to accelerate market access for Idaho companies. “Personal relationships are an essential part of doing business in the Chinese market,” Governor Otter said. “We identified some excellent opportunities, and I look forward to seeing their future successes.”

                Idaho’s exports to China totaled $560 million in 2015 – up more than 16 percent from 2014 and making China the second-largest export market for Idaho. Year-to-date exports to China for 2016 are up more than 18 percent. 

                Company participants had positive insights from the trip:

Jos Zamzow, Chief Operating Officer for Catalyst, a division of Dynamite
“The trade mission to China was a huge success for our company! 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. 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, Founder and Chairman of the Board, Kyäni
“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. They helped arrange and participate in high level government meetings in Beijing and Shanghai that will open doors for current and future success in the China market.” 

Nick Proia, Vice President of Business Development, Kingston Fresh
“While fresh Idaho potatoes are not currently permitted into China from the U.S., we need to continue to push for their acceptance, and we did that. Our goals for gaining a deeper understanding of the market, engaging with potential importers, and evaluating opportunities for the products we currently export to other parts of the world were met. We are currently following up with each contact made, in excess of 20, and are finalizing plans to return for additional meetings in the near future.”

David Oster, Chief Executive Officer, PakSense
“We had a very successful trip with highly valuable meetings with food safety and cold chain industry representatives and with retail chains and importers that actually participate in the market. We learned a great deal about the market opportunity for us in China. We were successful in creating several new, valuable, business relationships with the companies we met.  

Marcus Tam, Vice President and General Manager, RVEEPRO
“We had a very productive trip as part of the Governor’s trade mission to China. Not only did we increase our visibility in multiple cities in China and generate many potential business leads, but we were also able to secure a couple of deals as a result of being part of the delegation. We had previously worked on these deals for about a year, and the Governor's trade mission helped us close the deals while we were in China.”

Seth Pemsler, Vice President, Idaho Potato Commission
“Status and title mean everything. 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.” 

Clark Hamilton, Idaho Wheat Commission
“It was a great experience for me to meet some of the customers that buy Idaho wheat, get better acquainted and have a chance to maintain and improve those relationships”


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