Governor Ernie Fletcher’s Communications Office
Governor Fletcher Announces Opening of New Kentucky China Trade Center in Beijing

Press Release Date:  Friday, June 30, 2006  
Contact Information:  Jodi Whitaker

Mandy Lambert

China one of Kentucky’s fastest growing trade partners

FRANKFORT, Ky. – Governor Ernie Fletcher and Economic Development Cabinet Secretary Gene Strong announced today the Kentucky China Trade Center will open its doors on Monday in Beijing, China.  The commonwealth’s newest trade office will assist businesses in the marketing of Kentucky products and services to the growing China marketplace.  Additionally, the center will promote investment in Kentucky by Chinese businesses and support the commonwealth’s sister state relationship with Jiangxi Province.

“China is currently Kentucky’s 10th largest trading partner, receiving more than $400 million in exports during 2005,” said Governor Fletcher.  “Kentucky’s new trade office in Beijing will serve as a tremendous resource for Kentucky businesses wanting to tap into this country’s exploding marketplace.”

China is one of the commonwealth’s fastest growing trade partners, at a rate of 528 percent from 2000 to 2005, compared to 55 percent overall growth in Kentucky exports for the same period.  The major exports from Kentucky to China include chemicals, primary metal, machinery, waste and scrap, transportation equipment and electronic products.

Kentucky’s overall export growth set a record year in 2005 with $14.9 billion in exports.  The United States Census Bureau (WISER) recently released the April 2006 year-to-date export data by state which ranks Kentucky 9th highest on a per capita basis with $1,291 of exports per capita for the first four months of 2006. Kentucky had the highest exports per capita in our competitor state region (1st four months of 2006).

The Cabinet for Economic Development’s 2005-2009 Strategic Plan called for the establishment of a trade office in China by 2007.  During 2005, cabinet officials met with more than two dozen Kentucky companies already doing business in China to discuss the need and expectations for the office.  

“Discussions with these companies really helped us map out our goals for the China Office and made it clear just how significant the opportunities were for so many more Kentucky businesses,” said Secretary Strong. “The China mission led by Governor Fletcher in May 2005, for a series of meetings with Chinese officials, the U. S. Embassy, and representatives of other states in China, was also instrumental in paving the way to creating a successful Kentucky operation.” 

After receiving and reviewing 25 proposals, the Cabinet contracted with Larkin International Trade Associates of Arlington, Va. to operate the new center, which will be located in the Silver Tower in the Chaoyang District of Beijing, close to the new U. S. Embassy Complex.  The office is currently staffed by principals of the Larkin firm, which will add permanent staff members by the end of 2006. 

On July 4 in Beijing, the new Kentucky China Trade Center will be recognized by Ambassador Clark Randt at the U. S. Embassy’s annual Independence Day celebration.  An official opening ceremony for the trade office is anticipated in the next six to twelve months.

To help educate Kentucky businesses on doing business with China, Larkin International Trade Associates will assist the Cabinet’s International Trade staff in a series of workshops entitled “What You Need to Know About Doing Business in China.”  A list of workshop locations and dates are as follows:

Date: Monday, July 17, 2006
Time: 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Eastern time
Location: Lexmark International, Inc.
Lexmark Conference Room, Building 082
740 New Circle Road
Lexington, Ky. 40550

Northern Kentucky
Date: Tuesday, July 18, 2006
Time: 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Eastern time
Location: Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce Office
300 Buttermilk Pike, Suite 330
Ft. Mitchell, Ky. 41017

Date: Wednesday, July 19, 2006
Time: 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Eastern time
Location: Greenebaum, Doll & McDonald PLLC
National City Tower 35th Floor
101 South Fifth Street
Louisville, Ky. 40202  

An agenda and registration form can be found at  For more information, contact the cabinet’s International Trade Division at (502) 564-7140 or


The Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development is the primary state agency in Kentucky responsible for creating new jobs and new investment in the state. New business investment in Kentucky in 2005 totaled more than $1.6 billion with the creation of over 16,700 new jobs. Information on available development sites, workforce training, incentive programs, community profiles, small business development and other resources is available at