Opportunity Alaska: China Trade Mission Delegates Return Home
Delegates make significant progress to expand trade and business
ANCHORAGE, AK—Governor Bill Walker and delegates from the Opportunity Alaska: China Trade Mission returned home after 10 days in China focused on expanding trade and growing every sector of Alaska’s economy.
“I was honored to lead this trade mission and watch so many Alaskan leaders work to grow their businesses and bring jobs home,” Governor Walker said. “Perhaps what impressed me most was the consistent push to build an Alaska brand that makes the world realize the quality of our fresh seafood, the natural beauty of our state, and our many opportunities for economic growth.”
Delegates attended more than 25 meetings in Chengdu, Beijing, Shanghai, and Hangzhou. Here are a few highlights:
- While in Beijing, delegates met with JD.com, the world’s third-largest internet company by revenue, with 900 million users and 160,000 employees. The delegation traveled to Hangzhou to meet with leaders from Alibaba Group, the world’s largest retailer. These visits underscored opportunities to increase sales of Alaska seafood, beer, travel packages, and baby food directly to Chinese consumers. That would offer new economic benefits to a catalogue of Alaska’s industries, as well as businesses like Trident Seafoods, Icicle Seafoods, Bambino Baby Foods, Alaska Sylar Travel, 49th State Brewing Company, and more.
- Members of the delegation met in Beijing with China Sports Minister Gou Zheng. Mr. Zheng oversees China’s Olympic team, and the group discussed the potential of year-round training in Alaska for Chinese athletes ahead of the 2022 Winter Olympics. This discussion led to agreements for the Chinese downhill ski team to train at Alyeska Resort, for their cross-country ski team to train at Alaska Pacific University facilities, and for their hockey teams to train in Alaska. Follow-up meetings will take place this month in Alaska.
- Governor Walker and the delegation held several high-level meetings to advance the establishment of direct flights between Alaska and China. Just as the cruise industry has brought huge economic opportunities to coastal Alaska communities, direct flights will provide the benefits of new, diverse tourism statewide.