Otter, state agriculture officials leave Friday for China trade mission

Posted at 1:28 PM, Oct 27, 2016
and last updated 2016-10-27 19:57:55-04

Idaho Gov. “Butch” Otter and representatives of the state's milk, potato, wheat, hay industries and others will leave Boise Friday for a trade mission to China.

The Capital Press reports the visit will last from Oct. 28 through Nov. 5. Idaho's last trade mission to the country was in 2012.

Otter says China's 300 million middle-class citizens are driving demand for the food products Idaho specializes in, causing the country to become Idaho's third-largest export market.

Potato processors and representatives of the Idaho Potato Commission will participate in the trip. China currently imports processed potato products but not fresh tubers.

Laura Johnson, who manages the Idaho State Department of Agriculture's market development division, says China has the world's second-largest economy and is "a huge market with tremendous potential."

The trip is organized by the Idaho Department of Commerce.

"Our companies' ability, both large and small, to be able to network and sell goods and services throughout the world is key for creating jobs here in Idaho," says Megan Ronk, director of the Idaho Department of Commerce.

A total of 14 Idaho companies will be represented on this trip including companies with tech-related goods and personal care items.

(by Associated Press and KIVI/KNIN Staff)