Portland, April 22, 2016 – The Maine International Trade Center (MITC) has taken strides to bring Chinese businesses to Maine. MITC’s Invest in Maine will be working closely with their newly appointed China representative, Tractus Asia, to promote Chinese investment to Maine. Tractus and MITC were connected through the American Chamber of Commerce in China (AmCham), a non-profit NGO that promotes business success of American companies in China. Maine has much to offer Chinese investors as it is a leader in life sciences, aerospace, advanced materials & composites, and food sectors, and is part of an economic region that generates $3.75 trillion in economic output.
Janine Bisaillon-Cary, MITC’s president, hopes to revitalize Maine’s industries, and has a clear view of the value of foreign investment in this endeavor, stating in a news release that “international trade and investment are critical means to future economic growth, not just for Maine but for the United States as a whole.”Bisaillon-Cary and her team will continue to work diligently to raise awareness of Maine’s investment opportunities for Chinese businesses.
Zhang Qiyue, the Chinese Consul General in New York, has highlighted that as China’s middle class population continues to expand, there are many new trade opportunities for Maine businesses. The state has coordinated several trade missions with China, designed to help businesses take advantage of these new opportunities. Bixby & Co., a craft chocolates producer, was able to connect with City Super Group, a multinational lifestyle specialty store, during a trade show in Maine. Bixby’s all-natural, GMO and additives free chocolate bars are now sold in China at City Super’s store locations.
Maine’s increase in trade has also spurred new investments from China. Maine’s sales in lobster exports to China jumped from zero in 2007 to US $21.4 million by 2014. These numbers have not gone unnoticed by Chinese investors, who are now looking for ways to increase Maine’s lobster production in order to fill the growing demand of Chinese consumers. A recent Washington Post article highlighted China’s interest in Maine, particularly the lobster industry: https://www.washingtonpost.com.
Maine’s outdated industries are working hard to innovate in preparation of an inflow of Chinese investment to better fit the current global markets. This year a US $50 million project to convert a former shoe factory into roughly 100 upscale, post-surgical units for patients from China was started. Over 60 potential investors and patients from China have already visited the factory, and the Shengton Group of China, has purchased the factory and an adjacent former police station. The investment group now owns 200,000 square feet of building space. This project could help put Maine at the forefront of the global medical tourism industry and bring new sources of revenue to Maine.
These investment opportunities and more are being made easier for Chinese investors interested in Maine by utilizing the federal EB-5 visa program. Through the program, foreign nationals willing to invest $500,000 or more in U.S. job creation projects can expedite the citizenship process. It can take 10 years to be granted a green card in the U.S., but the EB-5 program can cut down that time to 30 months. Maine Finance Authority official, John Endicott, stated that Chinese have already invested US $15 billion in projects through the EB-5 program across the U.S. Maine applied for approval to operate an EB-5 regional center to start issuing permanent residency visas to investors. The Portland Press Herald has detailed the EB-5 program and other Chinese investment stories at http://www.pressherald.com.
Invest in Maine is an initiative of Maine International Trade Center and Maine’s Department of Economic and Community Development designed to promote business investment and spur job creation and economic growth. The key industries targeted for investment are advanced materials & composites, aerospace, food, and life sciences, all of which Maine offers distinct advantages.
Tractus Asia has been the leading Asia based FDI and trade advisor in both public and private sectors for the past 20 years. They have advised and assisted on more than US $5 billion in cross-border trade and investment decisions.
Contact – To learn more please contact Invest in Maine representatives Maria McIntyre or Invest in Maine China representative Maggie Chin, or visit their website at http://www.investinmaine.net or at http://tractus-asia.com.