State News

Perdue begins trade mission to Japan, China

Posted October 15, 2009 4:02 a.m. EDT
Updated October 15, 2009 10:41 a.m. EDT

— Gov. Bev Perdue's first overseas trade mission will focus on building ties with North Carolina's second- and fourth-largest trading partners – China and Japan.

The 12-day trip begins Thursday. Perdue will arrive Friday in Tokyo in advance of a meeting that promotes commerce among eight Southeastern states and Japan.

She'll travel next week to Beijing and later Shanghai, visiting businesses and meeting trade and government officials. There will be school visits in between.

The state will pay about $77,000 for Perdue, Commerce Secretary Keith Crisco, four of their staff members and security. Corporations and economic development booster groups will pay $95,000 for business-related events.

Perdue's husband, Bob Eaves, also will travel but won't go on the state's dime.

Perdue talked about the trip in WRAL.com's Ask Anything Q&A with viewers:

"We’re going to Asia with one mission: to grow jobs in North Carolina. I’ve said since my first day in office that my No. 1 priority is creating and saving jobs in North Carolina," Perdue said. "We are competing on a global level for jobs and businesses, and our economy will be left behind if we do not act aggressively and form partnerships with our major international economic partners, including China and Japan.

"More than half of the trip’s expenses will be paid for with non-state funds, and we will make every dollar go as far as possible.

"As second and fourth largest trading partners, China and Japan represent significant growth opportunities for our state – especially in an economic downturn. When this recession ends, North Carolina must be poised to come out with strong economic relationships that allow us to create jobs in this state. This trip will help us do just that."