State of Hawaii

State trip to leave
Thursday for China

By Lyn Danninger

A state-sponsored trip to China leaves Honolulu Thursday to follow up on agreements and contacts made when Gov. Ben Cayetano led the delegation on a similar mission in December.

Sharon Narimatsu, deputy director of the Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism, will lead this year's two-and-half week trip. She said about 30 people representing some 20 local firms will visit six cities in China. The firms pay their own way.

"Because of agreements signed on the last trip we are following up on opportunities to partner with Hawaii firms and those in China," she said.

Hawaii firms with infrastructure and environmental emphasis will have several pre-arranged meetings with Chinese firms and government agencies, Narimatsu said.

Travel firms with expertise in destination management are also of particular interest to the China since the country secured the 2008 Olympic games, she said.

There will also be opportunities to market Hawaii products, Narimatsu said. China's largest flight catering service company, which serves the country's largest airports, has already expressed interest in serving Hawaii coffee, candies and juices to first- and business-class passengers.

The company serves 46,000 in-flight meals per day, Narimatsu said.

"We're talking big numbers," she said.

State of Hawaii

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