Hong Kong Trade Development Council and TRIDEC Sign MOU
The Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) and TRIDEC, the economic development council for Benton and Franklin Counties in Southeastern Washington State, have entered into a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to help Columbia Basin food and wine companies enter the Chinese market. The official signing ceremony took place on Friday, August 7, at the Tri-Cities Business Center in Kennewick, Washington. HKTDC is the international marketing arm for Hong Kong-based traders, manufacturers and service providers.
The Columbia Basin has positioned itself as a strategic gateway for the food and beverage industry, and all support industries, between the United States and Asia, according to Ralph Chow, the New York-based regional director for HKTDC who provided a presentation on trends in the Chinese food and wine market at the signing event.
“Agriculture is one of the few areas where the United States has a trade surplus with China,” he said. “The U.S. accounted for over 24 percent of the value of China’s agricultural imports during 2012 to 201313, a larger share than any other country.”
China’s products of interest fit comfortably into the Columbia Basin food and beverage basket: meat, cereal grains, dairy, fruits, wine and vegetables, Chow noted. “Hong Kong is the ideal gateway to address this opportunity, with one of the freest and most robust economies in Asia,” he added. “Since the 1970s, Hong Kong has positioned itself as a major trading and financial center, especially as it relates to Mainland China.”
“China presents one of the greatest business opportunities in American, and particularly Columbia Basin, agricultural history,” said Gary A. White, director of TRIDEC. “We are honored to be working with the Hong Kong Trade Development Council and its excellent staff to develop this opportunity for the Columbia Basin.”