Is North Dakota Going Global? - - Bismarck/Minot/Williston/Dickinson-KXNEWS,ND

Is North Dakota Going Global?

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What does North Dakota have in common with Hong Kong?  As it turns out, not much.  Yet.  Hong Kong would like to change that.

The country's Economic and Trade Office in San Francisco takes the first step today in Bismarck, laying out how North Dakota businesses can enter markets in Asia.  "We feel the agricultural products in North Dakota will have a very good market in Hong Kong, because Hong Kong, being primarily a services economy, we don't have much agriculture growing in Hong Kong and we import over 95% of our food from overseas," says Subrina Chow, Director, Hong Kong Economic & Trade Office in San Francisco.

Currently, volume of trade between North Dakota and Hong Kong is less than one percent of total U.S. exports to Hong Kong -- and that's up 50 percent from 2011.  Subrina Chow says this just means there's lots of room for growth in a proven free market system:  "Hong Kong's been ranked the world's freest economy for 19 consecutive years.  That shows that our economic system has not changed.  We are still a very much a free trade, free market advocate."

Some business leaders in North Dakota agree -- Hong Kong is a way forward for North Dakota products.  "Hong Kong represents a really outstanding marketing opportunity for the business that's conducted within the State.  We've got connections across the globe," says Dot Frank, Public Affairs & Campaigns Director, Bismarck-Mandan Chamber of Commerce.

North Dakota currently has trade representatives around the world in Beijing, Kiev, Singapore and Kazakhstan.


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