Prince George's County

Baker to Lead Prince George’s Business Trip to Korea, China

The Prince George’s County Economic Development Corporation recently hosted an information session regarding County Executive Rushern Baker’s upcoming business mission trip to Korea and China from April 17-25.

The 70-plus local business owners who attended the session were briefed on Korean and Chinese business culture by experts who included representatives from the Maryland Department of Commerce, Embassy of the Republic of Korea, Embassy of the People’s Republic of China, U.S. Commercial Service and the Greater Washington China Investment Center.

“We’re tearing down walls and building bridges,” said EDC President Jim Coleman. “County Executive Baker knows the power of international trade and is at the forefront of establishing the relationships necessary to bring business back to Prince George’s County. … Over 90 percent of the world’s buying power is outside of the United States and we are working hard to give our local companies an international platform.”

Baker also led a successful trip to China in 2015, which resulted in partnerships between several companies in Prince George’s County and China. In addition, Baker led a group of 43 business leaders to Cuba in November to learn about the burgeoning business culture and establish relationships that will be in place once the trade embargo is lifted.

“This mission will be a great opportunity for local business owners to grow their businesses in fast growing markets like Korea and China,” said Bruce Lucas, owner of BML Properties Realty in Largo. “Having an opportunity to travel with a delegation led by County Executive Baker, and actually be connected to international businesses to do deals is a very important.”

Bradley Gillenwater, regional manager and investment team leader for East Asia, shared how bullish the state has been in clearing the highway to profitability.

“The Maryland Department of Commerce provides two platforms available for Prince George’s County companies to tap into,” Gillenwater said. “These platforms help to offset the cost of participating in the trip to Korea and China. The U.S. Department of Commerce offers the ‘Gold Key’ service, which is a $700 offset. There is also a potential $6,000 offset which pertains to trade-show expenses.

“Every year we work with 125 Maryland companies who generate $80-90 million in export sales and the Department of Commerce plays a huge role in helping close deals,” he said.

EDC has been allocated only 20 seats to offer business delegates to participate in the upcoming mission. The total cost for each delegate to participate is $5,950 per person.

Included in the package are: round-trip airfare, lodging, local transportation, meals, high-level receptions, bilingual guide and translator, processing of travel documents, processing of application to the trade show, as well as assistance with U.S. Department of Commerce Grant programs.

For more information, contact Nichelle Holmes, EDC Development Manager, at 301-583-4650 or naholmes@co.pg.md.us.

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