Governor Gary Locke’s Remarks
Weekly News Conference – 2008 Beijing Olympics/China Trade Mission
September 24, 2003

Good morning. Thank you for coming.

Joining me today is Vice Mayor Liu Jingmin of Beijing and Martha Choe, director of our state Department of Community, Trade and Economic Development.

I’d also like to acknowledge Ambassador Yunxiang Wang, Consul General of the People's Republic of China in San Francisco.

Ambassador Wang has been a great supporter and advocate of stronger economic and cultural ties between Washington state and China. We appreciate all of his great work.

Beijing will host the 2008 Summer Olympic Games. I had the honor of meeting Vice Mayor Liu last December in Beijing, where we had our initial discussions about how Washington companies could participate in the design, construction and operation of the various Olympic venues plus transportation networks and facilities and environmental improvements.

Vice Mayor Liu graciously accepted my invitation to come to Washington to talk directly with companies in our state that are interested in helping Beijing prepare for the 2008 Olympics.

We are the only state in the nation hosting a seminar like this.

We want Washington companies to be a part of the 2008 Olympics. In fact, several Washington companies already are engaged in helping “put on” the 2008 Olympics, and with this seminar, we’re confident that many more companies will be signing contracts to assist in the design, construction and operation of the games.

For example, Mulvanny G2 already has signed a contract to do work for the 2008 Olympics.

This will not only give these companies a unique, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to take part in preparations for the Olympic games, but it will also mean more jobs for our state.

Good paying, family-wage jobs in design, engineering and construction.

Creating jobs is our top priority in these tough economic times.

We are committed to opening more doors for Washington businesses. And opportunities like the 2008 Olympics don’t come “knocking” everyday!

We are seizing the opportunity to advance the interests of Washington companies in China. And we’re creating more opportunities for Washington citizens here at home.

We want Washington companies to take advantage of the chance to be a part of history, while also expanding their businesses and creating more jobs.

Through years of hard work, China won the right to host the 2008 Summer Olympic Games. It was a great accomplishment for the Chinese people following China’s successful entry into the World Trade Organization.

The Chinese central government and the municipal government of Beijing are very committed to making the 2008 Olympic games the best ever. They will invest close to $26 billion (U.S.) to make this happen.

As the Executive Vice President of the Beijing Organizing Committee for the 29th Olympic Games, Vice Mayor Liu is among those working the hardest to make sure these games are a success.

It is now my pleasure to introduce Vice Mayor Liu Jingmin.

[Vice Mayor speaks]

[Governor returns to lectern]

Thank you, Vice Mayor Liu.

Now, I’d like to introduce Martha Choe, our great director of Community, Trade and Economic Development.

[Choe speaks]

[Governor returns to lectern]

Thank you Martha.

Martha and I are also preparing for our trade mission to China next month, from October 11th through the 18th. Valoria Loveland, our state’s director of agriculture, will also be participating, as well as close to 80 delegates.

We will spend that time promoting trade, tourism and investment in Washington state companies.

We will be making stops in Beijing, Guangzhou, and Shanghai. We will meet with top Chinese government and business leaders. Our state’s delegation will include leaders from government, agriculture, technology, business, and education.

This trip will offer exceptional business opportunities for Washington companies. We’ll focus especially on agriculture and high technology, but we’ll be working for all Washington businesses. We will also have good opportunities to further enrich our educational and cultural exchanges with China.

China is one of our top trading partners. We must continue to leverage our strategic geographic position. We want to keep and expand our position as a leader in sales and exports to China. We want to create opportunities for investment in our state by Chinese companies.

Trade is vital to our state’s economy. It generates $95 billion per year overall. We are the fourth largest exporter in the United States.

We are looking forward to this trade mission and the opportunities it will provide for Washington.

We are also looking forward to working with Vice Mayor Liu and other Chinese officials to make the 2008 Olympics in Beijing the best Olympic games ever!

Thank You. Now we’ll take your questions.

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