Cayetano leaving today for eight-day visit to China
By Robbie Dingeman
Advertiser Capitol Bureau
Gov. Ben Cayetano leaves today for an eight-day trip to China, with the intent of promoting Hawai'i's businesses and professional expertise.
The visit kicks off a year-long mission called "Aloha China!," an $85,000 program intended to foster better ties with China, said the governor's press secretary, Kim Murakawa.
"The Chinese economy is one of the few economies in Asia (that are) still strong," Cayetano said. "This trip is going to focus on mostly technology and some tourism."
Murakawa said Cayetano will travel to Beijing and Shanghai. She said those making the trip include the governor, his wife and about 25 state officials from the University of Hawai'i, the Hawai'i Visitors & Convention Bureau and business specialists.
A spokesman for the state Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism said travel expenses for the trip will cost the state $27,000 to $28,000 of the Aloha China! budget. Additional travel costs for the tourism and university officials will also be paid by the state, but those figures were not immediately available yesterday.
Cayetano is expected back Dec. 9. The Aloha China! mission was to have set out the week of Sept. 11 but was postponed.
Cayetano said Chinese officials are interested in areas such as resort development and environmental protection, topics well-known to local businesses.
Representatives of the Hong Kong Business Association of Hawai'i will accompany Cayetano's delegation and will travel to Hong Kong and Taiwan.
Reach Robbie Dingeman at firstname.lastname@example.org or 525-8070.