Tuesday South Dakota’s governor is in China. Governor Dennis Daugaard says the trip helps the state’s businesses establish relationships with Chinese companies. In a call from China, Daugaard says those organizations can foster partnerships with South Dakota industries.
"We’ve been doing a lot of speed-dating is really what we’ve been doing over the last few days and for the next few days we’ll do that," Daugaard says. "Then when all of the businesses get home, they’ll have to see who they want to call up for that second date or email for that second date and start exchanging information and drill down to the specifics about what kinds of products and to what degree and at what price."
Daugaard says the federally-funded trip isn’t about vacation but rather developing international trade. A few state officials and about a dozen South Dakota business leaders join the governor in Asia. State officials and business leaders spend five days in China connecting South Dakota companies with Chinese partners. Daugaard says the developing nation’s economy boasts opportunities for South Dakota.
"There’s clearly an emphasis in the government encouraging foreign investment in other countries," Daugaard says "So they have been deliberate about bringing that up, their interest in, are there projects in South Dakota that might be looking for investors, because they want to put some of their money overseas."
Daugaard says he has multiple meetings each day with Chinese officials and investors. The governor says a federal step grant pays for the trip so South Dakota industry and business leaders can collaborate with legitimate Chinese companies. They hold business meetings throughout the trip in Beijing, Shanghai, and Hong Kong.