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Gov. Hunt: Asia Trips Will Pay Off

Posted November 19, 1998

— Governor Jim Hunt and other North Carolina leaders are passing along a billion dollar philosophy to China: You have to spend money to make money. The Governor thinks the trips will pay huge dividends.

China's enormous population is generating the largest economy in the world. Already North Carolina's tenth largest trading partner, China is embarking on a $500 billion upgrading of its infrastructure.

Governor Hunt says Chinese officials are even looking into investing in North Carolina, but the market is wide open for North Carolina products in China.

"I can just tell you we're going to sell a lot more furniture in China, as we will information technology, biotechnology and pharmaceutical products, food products and so on," Hunt said.

Lieutenant Governor Dennis Wicker Wicker led a North Carolina delegation to Japan to develop "digital communities" all based on information technology.

"We'll be able to connect with all of the global society, and be able to exchange information that's going to help us in terms of our development economically and in terms of education in North Carolina," Wicker said.

UNC-Wilmington is already feeding online college courses to Japan.

Commerce Secretary Rick Carlisle says China will spend $20 billion a year on new telephone service alone. He says that will generate "30 million phones every year - that's essentially adding a BellSouth every year to the economy. The size of that market is phenomenal."

Hunt says a big challenge is negotiating with Chinese leaders to allow foreign products and services into their country.

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