Published January 1, 2001 | January 2001 issue
China is currently North Dakota's 10th largest trade partner, but the state is working on moving that nation up in the ranks. In 1999, North Dakota exported nearly $4.4 million in goods to China, more than double the amount 10 years ago, but still a far cry from the $345 million that went to its largest trade partner, Canada.
Gov. Ed Schafer and some North Dakota business leaders went to Beijing last fall, in hopes of spurring stronger trade. The trip also coincided with the U.S. Senate's vote to normalize trade relations with China.
Following the trip, a business roundtable on China was held in Bismarck to discuss trade potential and featured a representative of the Export-Import Bank, which offers U.S. companies export credit insurance. The state's Department of Economic Finance and Development plans to submit an aggressive budget to promote more international trade with China.