Iowa Gov. Chet Culver has announced the opening of an Iowa trade office in Beijing, saying it's important the state carve out a presence in the rapidly growing nation.
Culver, in the midst of a nine-day trade trip to China, said Iowans should think of China more as a trading partner than an economic competitor.
"I think the timing of the opening of that office is really critical," Culver said in a conference call with Iowa reporters. "It shows that Iowa is really serious about trade and having a presence in the fastest-emerging market."
As an agricultural state that relies heavily on exporting commodities, it's essential for Iowa to build relationships that can help the state compete with producers in South America and elsewhere that want to trade with China, Culver said.