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Lingle meets with China’s tourism administrator

Gov. Linda Lingle meets with Shao Qiwei, chairman of the China National Tourism Administration. (Photo courtesy of The Governor's Office)

Gov. Linda Lingle meets with Shao Qiwei, chairman of the China National Tourism Administration. (Photo courtesy of The Governor's Office)

MEDIA RELEASE

Gov. Linda Lingle’s first two days in China focused on building on the state’s strategic efforts to strengthen Hawaii’s economic base by tapping China’s growing outbound tourism market as well as developing opportunities and partnerships in clean energy and international trade.

TRAVEL TO HAWAII

Building on the progress made since Hawaii and the China National Tourism Administration formed a cooperative agreement to increase two-way travel between Hawaii and China, Lingle met with Shao Qiwei, chairman of CNTA.

Lingle and Shao discussed the current situation of Chinese tourists going to the Hawaii, including: visa issues, new developments in group leisure tour program, as well as steps that can be taken by the United States and China to increase the number of Chinese visitors.

Lingle also spoke of the first scheduled direct air service between China and Hawaii, which is expected to start early next year, and Shao pledged his resources to support and encourage more Chinese tourists to travel to Hawaii.

On the governor’s first day in China, she met with U.S. Ambassador Jon Huntsman to continue discussions they had in Honolulu in August to ensure that obtaining a U.S. travel visa will not be an obstacle to traveling to Hawaii or the rest of the U.S.

Among the proposals Lingle raised with Huntsman were establishing set interview times for Chinese travelers applying for a visa, designating a point-of-contact at each U.S. consulate in China to focus on the visa issue and determining a process to facilitate last-minute travel applications.

CLEAN ENERGY

Lingle and DBEDT Director Ted Liu met with Chairman Xu Kuangdi of the China Academy of Engineering and noted clean energy leader Zhou Fengqi to discuss and exchange ideas on renewable energy and energy efficiency from Hawaii and China’s perspectives.

The head of China Wind Energy Association was present and agreed to explore deployment of China’s new wind turbine technology in partnership with wind project developers in Hawaii.

The meeting also included officials of China’s National Development and Reform Commission, which has broad administrative and planning control over the Chinese economy, including formulating policies for economic and social development, restructuring China’s economic system and guiding private investment.

Zhou Fengqi spoke at the Asia-Pacific Clean Energy Summit and Expo that was held in Hawaii in September.

During the meeting, Lingle invited Xu and the China Academy of Engineering to be co-organizers for the 2010 Asia Pacific Clean Energy Summit and Expo. Xu agreed to co-sponsor next year’s summit and to have a specific “China-focus.”

HAWAII EXPORTS

Lingle also met with the Ministry of Commerce office of China Import Product Solicitation and Promotion System to discuss the ‘Hawaii House’ program MOFCOM is launching to promote Hawaii products to Chinese consumers.

The ministry recognizes that small and medium foreign businesses have barriers to their products and services entering the China market.

In order to achieve better trade balance with countries such as the United States, the ministry is launching a foreign products and services show-room and distribution center, the first one scheduled to open in Shanghai.

The center would be developed and operated at no cost to the foreign companies selling into the China market.

The ministry is very interested in Hawaii products and services, as it believes Hawaii has a unique consumer brand.

Lingle learned in detail the plans for these centers and agreed to work closely with the ministry to capitalize on this opportunity for Hawaii companies.

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