Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter is touting the results of last month’s trade mission to China. Fifteen Idaho companies and organizations joined the mission. Half were already doing business in China and went in hopes of expanding their current reach, while others went seeking a foothold in the market.
Gov. Otter says those initial meetings are key. “I think any time they can build a relationship with a company in China that sees the value of their product in that marketplace,” he says, “that’s obviously great potential for the future.”
AMET, Inc., a Rexburg company that manufactures welding control systems, estimates its exports to China will increase by $1.5 million as a result of the mission. Moscow-based BioTracking LLC signed an agreement to sell testing supplies to a large Chinese dairy company called Shanghai Bright Dairy Holstan. BioTracking’s tests very accurately determine pregnancy in dairy herds.
Idaho Falls-based DocuTech and the Idaho Potato Commission also report progress resulting from the trade trip. Department of Commerce spokeswoman Megan Ronk says the other participating companies chose not publicize the results of the mission. “Sales figures and so forth — it’s up to their discretion whether they want to talk about that,” she says.
“What I can say is that, across the board, there were a number of very important relationships that were developed, relationships that we think will result in future sales.”
Receiving $625.9 million in exports from Idaho last year, China is the third-largest foreign market for Idaho goods. The trade mission reportedly cost the state about $18,000.