ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) —  Maryland’s mission to Asia ends on a high note for the state, Maryland businesses and the university system.

Political reporter Pat Warren reports Governor Martin O’Malley measured the success of the visit in economic and cultural gains.

Nothing says Maryland like a bushel of blue crabs.  The jimmies and sallies and sooks that may deck July 4 picnic tables are an item in China.  On the governor’s 10-day economic mission there, J&R Seafood on the Eastern Shore grew its export business, translating to jobs at home.

“We’ll probably hire now 30 to 40 more seasonal jobs which, because of this trip, will turn into full-time jobs,” said Lin Hwang.

“One deal for Lin in a market that large could well be the difference between his business being a small business and his business being a big business,” O’Malley said.

The dean of the University of Maryland School of Public Policy found Maryland influence in alums.

“A Maryland success story is a student who had left China and came here, studied for a year in College Park with us, went back to graduate and is the manager of the Nanjing Airport,” said Donald Kettl.

University of Maryland President Wallace Loh is a native of China.

“So it is my hope that the Terps will play in China and Chinese fans, like Americans, will learn to fear the Turtles,” Loh said.

All that is to say Maryland is gaining ground in Asia.

“This is a huge, huge part of the world and for us to be successful as a state requires not only innovation at home, but engagement abroad—particularly in these markets where their quality of life and median incomes are so fast on the rise,” O’Malley said.

The governor would like to organize similar missions to Central and South America and Africa in the coming years.

The administration estimates Maryland gained $85 million in direct foreign investments from the Asia trip.


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