The authoritative source on Colorado Governor Bill Ritter brought to you by the Editors at the Cherry Creek News and Denver Community Newspapers
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
GOV. RITTER, COLORADO DELEGATION OPTIMISTIC UPON RETURN FROM ASIA ECONOMIC MISSION
Gov.Bill Ritterand a 40-member business delegation have returned home toColoradooptimistic and encouraged following a 10-day economic-development mission toJapanandChinathat emphasizedColorado's New Energy Economy, bioscience and air travel industries.
The mission focused on creating new jobs inColorado, new business and investment opportunities forColoradocompanies, securing a daily non-stop flight fromDenvertoTokyo, and strengthening ties between research universities inColoradoandAsia.
"We return home with much optimism and much hope for short-term successes, particularly in the areas of the New Energy Economy and the biosciences," Gov. Ritter said. "I'm also confident we will have aDenver-to-Tokyodirect flight sooner rather than later. But the most important achievement is that we have taken a crucial step forward in what must be a long-term, persistent and consistent approach to economic development in Asian markets.
"While theU.S.economy continues to struggle, it is more important than ever forColoradoto be aggressive when it comes to marketing, promoting and developing our economy," Gov. Ritter said. "We must keep looking for ways to create new jobs, new investments and new opportunities. That's what this mission was about."
"We found several areas of opportunity and a tremendous sense of common economic interests, particularly in the areas of air travel, the New Energy Economy and biosciences," said Don Elliman, director of the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade. "Every time renewable energy came up, you could see the lights go on on the other side of the table."
"This is a competitive world, and if we are going to create jobs in theU.S.and inColorado, now is the time for us to be dealing with these foreign markets," said Joe Blake, president and CEO of the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce. "We leftAsiawith great hope and great expectations."
"The next spoke in the wheel forDenverInternationalAirportto be a world-class airport is a direct flight fromDenverto the Asian markets, andTokyois the gateway toAsia," said Denver City Councilman Michael Hancock. "This was a very positive trip. I'm very optimistic we could see a direct flight as early as 2010, and that would mean a $100 million to $150 million economic benefit toDenver."
nMission overview: November 15-25 economic-development and trade mission toTokyo,Yamagata,BeijingandShanghai, focusing on renewable energy, bioscience, tourism and securing a non-stop daily Denver-Tokyo flight.
nMission purpose: Create new jobs inColoradoforColoradoemployees, create new economic and market opportunities forColoradobusinesses, attract new investments toColorado, and strengthen ties betweenColoradoand Asian universities.
nMission participants: Gov. Ritter and 40 leaders from state and local governments, economic development organizations, private businesses, and research universities (University of Colorado,ColoradoState University and Colorado School of Mines).
nGov. Ritter participated in nearly 45 meetings, seminars, speeches, media interviews and other events with government officials, private business executives, economic-development leaders, university officials and others.
nElevatedColorado's profile inJapanandChinaas a national and international leader in renewable energy and biosciences and as an attractive tourism destination.
nPromotedColoradoin meetings with Japan- and China-based companies considering new or expanded North American operations in the New Energy Economy and other sectors.
nIdentified opportunities forColoradobusinesses in a wide variety of fields, including: the development of renewable energy, biofuels and clean-coal technologies; exports of beef, agricultural and other food products; exports of medical devices and pharmaceuticals; development of bio-technologies; and environmental remediation and infrastructure renewal.
nIntroduced Asian renewable energy companies, investors, university researchers and government laboratories to the Colorado Renewable Energy Collaboratory, which is researching and developing innovative new-energy technologies.
nDenver Metro Chamber of Commerce signed a cooperative agreement with the Beijing Chamber of Commerce to promote and encourage new business and investment opportunities for members of both chambers.
nOpened the door to establishing a formal Investment Promotion Agreement betweenColoradoandChina.
nMet with the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade, China Chamber of International Commerce, American Chamber of Commerce and other business organizations, discussing several opportunities, including the possibility of Chinese investments in new hotel projects inColorado.
nHeld successful meetings with All Nippon Airways (ANA),NaritaInternationalAirportand Boeing executives in hopes of securing a daily non-stop Denver-Tokyo flight as early as 2010. ANA officials said they will visitDenverin 2009 to continue discussions, and an "Ascent to Asia" delegation fromColoradoalso will return toAsiain 2009. Every company Gov. Ritter met with inTokyoexpressed strong support for the flight.
nPromotedColoradoas a unique Western American destination for Asian tourist and business travelers.
nHeld productive discussions with the Japanese Bio-industry Association to foster partnerships between Japanese andColoradobio-industry companies.
nRe-affirmedColorado's sister-state relationship with the JapaneseprefectureofYamagata. Identified several new business, economic-development, tourism and shared research opportunities, as well as opportunities regarding the development of geothermal resources and addressing the pine beetle epidemic impactingJapanandColorado.
nGov. Ritter took part in signing ceremonies for Memoranda of Understandings betweenColoradoStateUniversityand:
oGifuUniversityand the National Institute of Radiological Sciences inJapanto create a global Center for Environmental Medicine.
oChina Institute for Water Resources and Hydropower Research for joint research and scientist exchange.
oEast China Normal University to expand areas of faculty research collaboration and student exchange in the areas of clean energy, global environmental sustainability, geosciences, engineering, education and business.
nIdentified opportunities for allColoradoresearch universities to educate Chinese and Japanese students, particularly in information technology, engineering and the life sciences.Japanis currently in need of 500,000 IT engineers.
nConducted site visits to:
oTheBeijingOlympic complex asDenvereyes a possible bid for the 2018 Games.
oBeijing Urban Planning Exhibition Hall for ideas and discussions about land-use and transportation planning inDenver, including the possibility of creating a scaled model ofColoradofor public display atDenverInternationalAirport.
nTook part in signing of investment agreement between twoColoradocompanies (Shan Atira Asia Ventures of Denver and Top of Asia of Englewood) and Beijing Civil Aviation Sinosky.
Colorado Office of Economic Development of International Trade, Denver International Airport, Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce, Denver Metro Economic Development Corp., Colorado Tourism Office, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Governor's Energy Office, Colorado Renewable Energy Collaboratory, Colorado State University, University of Colorado, Colorado School of Mines, Upstate Colorado Economic Development, Aurora Economic Development Council, South Metro Chamber of Commerce, Northern Colorado Economic Development Corp., Cap Logistics, Executive Forum, Opus Northwest,Health One Presbyterian/St. Luke's Medical Center, Saunders Construction, Jeppesen, Inviragen, Hogan and Hartson, Rothgerber Johnson & Lyons, andShan Atira Asian Ventures.
TRADING AND EXPORTING
JapanisColorado's fourth-largest export market, with 2007 exports toJapantotaling $359 million. Leading 2007 export categories included medical and scientific instruments, up more than 54 percent to $98 million; meat and meat products, up 164 percent to $63 million; and industrial machinery, $55 million.
ChinaovertookJapanasColorado's third-largest export market in 2006. The state's exports toChinalast year totaled $488 million. Important export commodities in 2007 included electrical machinery, $96 million; base metal and cermets, up 45 percent from the previous year to $93 million; and medical and scientific instruments, $73 million.