ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ)—More Maryland business in Asia. That’s the goal Governor Martin O’Malley has set for an official 10-day trip to China, South Korea and Vietnam in June. And he’s finding a partner in the mayor of Seoul, South Korea.

Derek Valcourt explains it’s all about boosting trade between the two regions.

Both sides say the goal is bringing more American business to Asia and more Asian business to Maryland.

At Marlin Steel Wire in South Baltimore, they manufacture specialty wire products from simple baskets for companies like Boeing to small specialty orders.

Already 20 to 25 percent of their customers are overseas, and now they’re hoping to find even more business in Asian countries.

“The real growth that’s taking place out there right now is in foreign markets. We can sit around and complain about it or we can try to get a piece of that action,” said Chris Elwood, Marlin Steel Wire.

Governor O’Malley wants Maryland in on the action, as well. That’s why he signed a memorandum of understanding with the mayor of Seoul, South Korea. The two leaders promise to explore how businesses in Maryland and Seoul can benefit each other.

“A better future is not going to happen by itself,” O’Malley said. “We have to make that happen, and we believe we can make that happen together in very positive ways.”

In fact, this summer O’Malley and other state officials are planning a 10-day mission to China, South Korea and Vietnam.  It’s a trip aimed at helping Maryland companies like Marlin Steel Wire tap into Asia’s fast growing economic expansion.

What would open Asian markets do for Maryland companies like Marlin Steel?

“Obviously there’s a huge populace of customers out there that we could sell to that we are not currently selling to and that’s going to mean that we are going to be able to hire more American workers,” Elwood said.

Marlin Steel Wire’s owner will join the governor on the trip, hoping face-to-face meetings might help bend Asian business in their direction.

“Who knows what this trip will bring. It might not bring anything, but you’ll never know by staying here,” Elwood said.

Nearly 20 representatives from the state government, business community and education field will join the governor on the 10-day trip to Asia which begins May 31.

Last year, with help from the state, Maryland companies were able to export $65 million worth of products to Asia.

Comments (20)
  1. sillyman michaels says:

    martin must want a korean carryout in annapolis


    So there goes more Md jobs over seas

  3. Bite Me says:

    Here we go spending our TAX $$$$$
    What a waste of time O’Money should be working on cutting his spending

  4. Enough Already! says:

    Who wants to bet that this trip will be funded on the tax payer’s dime? Money we can NOT afford. Way to go, OWE’Malley! Glad I didnt vote him into office.

  5. cms827 says:

    That means more illegals coming over and starting their own business wow you are so bright Owemalley

  6. PAUL E. MICELLI says:


  7. Sheriff willie says:

    These trips abroad are nothing more than a chance for Sushi lunches or Middle east Persian rugs for the OMalley fireplace room. We the taxpayers have yet to be rewarded with any meaning full return on investment of taxpayers dollars. The business climate here is abysmal.

  8. J says:

    Its nice to know people actually read. He is trying to sell our goods to them, or get some of their business interest to move here. I hope he can do it. I just came back from San Fransisco, and they seem to have tons of business with other countries. I hope he can get some of that for us; especially flights into BWI.

    1. FEED UP! says:

      And we are paying for this HOW? J, get your head out of your a$$ and put down the fluffy puppy and stop petting your kitten for just a few minutes you moron. He is SELLING OUT OUR STATE for people who don’t pay TAXES! How about we let YOU pay for all the additional taxes to pay for this trip and these messes this State just keeps getting into? Flower Power, Smile, Have a Nice Day and Don’t Worry! Be Happy! Whatever…

    2. sheriff willie says:

      San Francisco is a lot closer to Korea & the Pacific rim countries than Baltimore. Also there is a huge presence of Orientals all along the west coast for the very same reasons. Visit Seattle & Vancouver B.C. u would think you were in China, Japan. You read a…hole.

  9. Herman Glimsher says:


  10. Wheres common sense when you need it says:

    I wonder what Asia will trade us for him?

  11. RavenLude says:

    sheriff willie…..u forgot he is enjoying the high priced international ho-bags as well

  12. Debbie says:

    He’s practicing to be President. He never stays here and works either.

  13. overtaxed says:

    Quick! Someone program his GPS to send him to NORTH Korea! We will all be much better off if he did not come back to his political career.

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