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Promoting Hawaii tourism in Asia

Governor Lingle to promote Hawaii tourism during trip to China, Japan

Jun 02, 2010

HONOLULU - Gov. Linda Lingle will work on opening Chinese markets to Hawaii-produced goods and promote Hawaii tourism to Japanese travelers during a two-week trip to Asia scheduled to begin Friday.

Lingle outlined the excursion, her fourth to China as governor, during a press conference Tuesday at the state Capitol.

She will spend most of the two weeks in four Chinese cities: Shanghai, Guangshou, Kunming and Beijing.

"It's going to be a great trip with a lot of different aspects to it, and I'm looking forward to it very much," the governor said.

While in China, two state agricultural officials will finalize a memorandum of understanding that will ease the way for Hawaii-produced agricultural products to be exported to China, she said. It will be clearer what products those may be once the meetings are over, she added.

"The potential is really great," she said. "China is leasing farm land all over the world because they don't have enough land to feed their own people. They can't grow enough food."

Lingle's first stop will be in Shanghai, where she will speak to U.S. business leaders and at a forum to promote higher education in Hawaii. She also will kick off "Hawaii Week" at the USA Pavilion at the 2010 World Expo.

In Guangzhou, the governor will address Chinese business executives and meet with provincial Gov. Huang Huahua.

Lingle's stop in Kunming will feature a meeting on clean energy partnerships and tourism with provincial Vice Gov. Liu Ping. In Beijing, Lingle will talk to U.S. Ambassador Jon Huntsman about efforts to ease the visa process, meet with Chinese tourism authorities, and speak at an "Invest in Hawaii" seminar.

"This is a strong signal to the people and the officials in China that whether a governor in Hawaii is at the beginning or end of their term, they continue to reach out," said Lingle, who will finish her second and final term in December.

The governor is to arrive in Tokyo on June 16, where she and Hawaii Tourism Authority officials will hold a series of meetings with Japanese airline and tourism industry representatives. She is due to return to Hawaii on June 19.

Lingle's expenses will be covered with funds from the tourism authority, the Chinese People's Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries, the governor's office and executive branch departmental budgets.

Representatives from Hawaii-based business groups and several state officials - including top Lingle aides Ted Liu, Linda Smith, Marsha Wienert and Brennon Morioka, and House Speaker Calvin Say, D-St. Louis Heights-Wilhelmina Rise - also will participate in some or all the trip.

Lingle said while she is away, Lt. Gov. James "Duke" Aiona will sign or veto one or more bills that are pending on her desk. But Lingle said she will decide on a contentious measure to allow same-gender couples to form civil unions when she returns.

Governor Lingle to promote Hawaii tourism during trip to China, Japan
Hawaii Governor Linda Lingle / Image via

Source: AP

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