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'Salesman in chief' Schwarzenegger on Asia trade trip

'Salesman in chief' Schwarzenegger on Asia trade trip

California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger left Thursday on a six-day trade mission to Asia, vowing to be his state's "salesman in chief" on the trip to China, Japan and South Korea.
The former Hollywood actor and bodybuilder will travel with nearly 100 leaders from sectors including the technology, tourism and the entertainment industries.
"California, perched on the Pacific rim, is uniquely positioned to take advantage of the exploding Asian market," he said, noting that the three countries have a combined population of 1.5 billion.
"This is 1.5 billion potential consumers for our products... I will be the salesman in chief. I will go out there and sell Californian products," he told a meeting in Silicon Valley on the eve his trip.
The trip by Schwarzenegger - whose state's economy has been hit hard by the global recession - will start Friday in China, where he will notably visit the 2010 World Expo in Shanghai and travel to Hangzhou.
"At a time when California's unemployment rate is more than 12 percent, our relationship with China and its exploding economy has never been more important," said Jim Wunderman, head of a body organizing the China trip.
"The best thing to get us out of this recession is to open up more demand for the products and services of the people of California... This mission, in effect, is bringing a big fortune cookie that says 'Buy Californian!"
In Japan - California's third largest trading partner, with nearly 11 billion dollars exported there n 2009 - he will notably meet Tokyo's Governor Shintaro Ishihara.
Rounding up the trip in South Korea where he will meet President Lee Myung-bak, Schwarzenegger hopes to benefit from a South Korea-U.S. trade agreement, currently going through the U.S. Congress.
"We want to be the first (U.S.) state to come there and to really let them know that we are ready for business," he said Wednesday, adding that it could be worth another two billion dollars in revenues to cash-strapped California.
The three Asian countries are key trade partners: in 2009, California exported 120 billion dollars' worth of goods to over 220 foreign markets, including US$27 billion to China, Japan and South Korea.


Updated : 2021-05-07 03:32 GMT+08:00