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Bredesen, Kisber & Farr Departing for Asia

Press Release from the Tennessee Department of Economic & Community Development, May 6, 2010:

Shanghai Expo Hosting 70 Million Visitors, State Leaders to Promote Trade with Tennessee

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Tennessee Governor Phil Bredesen and Economic and Community Development Commissioner Matt Kisber today announced plans to attend the 2010 Shanghai World Expo to promote trade, investment and tourism between the state of Tennessee and China. The state of Tennessee is a sponsor of the U.S. Pavilion for the event, which is expected to host 5-6 million of the more than 70 million visitors to the Expo which opened May 1, 2010 with the theme “Better City, Better Life.” Tennessee Revenue Commissioner Reagan Farr and International Investment Director Lori Odom will also accompany the delegation.

“Our state’s participation in the Shanghai World Expo is a unique opportunity to educate visitors from around the world about Tennessee, its quality of life and its business climate,” said Governor Bredesen. “Our state’s relationship with Chinese business and government leaders continues to grow and Tennessee’s participation is an important signal that our state is ready to expand business ties.”

Tennessee’s participation in the Shanghai World Expo is an important bookend to the Chinese government’s decision to participate in the 1982 Knoxville World’s Fair, the first time following the Cultural Revolution the Chinese government agreed to participate in a world event. The purpose of Tennessee’s participation in the Shanghai World Expo is to build relationships and expose Expo visitors to the Tennessee “brand,” eventually leading to additional investment, job creation and tourism.

“Since 2007, when Tennessee opened its office in Beijing, business opportunities between Tennessee and China have grown steadily,” said Commissioner Kisber. “We believe there are important opportunities for Tennessee companies to sell to Chinese customers, creating new job opportunities for Tennesseans and greater profits for companies.”

Governor Bredesen and Commissioner Kisber will depart for Shanghai on May 14, 2010 and return on May 22, 2010. During their visit, the Tennessee delegation will tour the U.S. and Chinese pavilions at the invitation of the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade and co-host an investment roundtable for Chinese business leaders interested in entering the U.S. market with the China Investment Promotion Agency.

Following the Shanghai portion of the trip, the Governor and Commissioner will meet with Tennessee companies operating in Hong Kong and then meet with members of the American Chamber of Commerce in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam to explore business opportunities for Tennessee companies there, primarily in infrastructure development, I/T and telecommunications, consumer goods, industrial machinery and energy.

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