Governor Gary Locke’s Remarks
Ports of Seattle/Shanghai 25th Anniversary
September 9, 2004
Good morning. I am honored to be here.
On behalf of the people of the state of Washington, it is my pleasure to welcome our distinguished guests from China. We are very pleased and honored that you are able to be here for this important anniversary. I hope you enjoy your visit to our beautiful state.
I also want to congratulate the Ports of Seattle and Shanghai on this very significant milestone. This friendship port relationship is a model of international goodwill and healthy trade. We are all very proud of this historic, enduring tie between these two ports, between China and our state, and between our two countries.
Trade generated more than $97 billion last year overall for Washington state. Washington is the fourth largest exporting state in America. On a per capita basis, we actually have the largest export volume in the country.
We exported more than $2.3 billion in products to China last year alone, and $3.5 billion in 2002. China is our state’s third largest export market. And a recent study by the state Department of Community, Trade and Economic Development ranks China among the top five most-desired future export markets for Washington state companies.
We are honored that the Chinese people are familiar with Boeing airplanes, Microsoft products and services, Starbucks coffee and many other businesses and exceptional agricultural products from our state.
Next week I will travel to China for the third trade mission during my tenure as Governor. Each trip has been very rewarding and fulfilling. Each time we meet with our friends and counterparts in China, our friendship grows.
As a result of our most recent trip to China last October, Washington trade mission delegates reported $3 million in actual sales. And projected sales of more than $40 million.
We have such a successful trade relationship with China because we are more than just trade partners. Our state is blessed with a sizable population of Chinese-Americans who make countless daily contributions to the very high quality of life here.
When Chinese people like my grandfather first arrived here 100 years ago, they struggled for both survival and acceptance. They did the hardest and most humble jobs. They worked as gardeners, laborers and builders. They helped build our railroads and logged our forests and fished the salmon off our coast. Today, our Chinese-American citizens include lawyers, engineers, software designers, artists, educators, and community and government leaders.
Our art museums, our music, our gardens, and our cuisine reflect the cultural perspective, aesthetic sensibilities, and flavors of China. Not far from here is the Seattle Chinese Garden, designed after the Sichuan-style gardens of China. It is a beautiful place to find serenity and inspiration.
And now our blossoming patterns of international trade and investment are being shaped by our growing friendship with China. The benefits are mutual for millions of people on both sides of the Pacific.
China has an enormous population with enormous needs—from feeding its people to environmental cleanup to energy to medicine and technology. Washington state can help meet those needs.
The Summer Olympic Games recently ended. Now we’re looking forward to the next Summer Games in 2008—hosted by China. Washington state companies are enthusiastic about supporting this effort. We look forward to helping plan, design, construct and manage some of the Olympic venues. And we look forward to helping with the 2010 Shanghai World Expo as well.
Even as we look forward to our next steps together, it’s important to celebrate our past and honor our long friendship. That’s why we’re here today.
A quarter of a century ago, the Port of Shanghai and the Port of Seattle became officially joined by an agreement. But what we celebrate today is much more than a formal agreement. We celebrate the joining of cultures and of peoples. Separated by an endless ocean, we celebrate the bridge of friendship and partnership.
Congratulations to both ports on the first official quarter century—and here’s to many, many more.