Schaefer, aides schedule visit to Japan in June

May 08, 1991|By David Conn

Gov. William Donald Schaefer yesterday announced that he will lead a cultural and trade mission on June 7 to Maryland's "sister state" in Japan, the Kanagawa Prefecture.

The 12-day trip, which coincides with the 10th anniversary of Maryland's Sister State program with Kanagawa, will take the governor to the port cities of Tokyo and Yokohama, to Nagoya, and then to Singapore for 2 1/2 days.

Mr. Schaefer will meet with business and government officials and will address an economic symposium in Yokohama.

"Too often the sister relationships are considered only cultural or educational," he said in a statement. "This mission demonstrates that these relationships also have an important economic dimension."

The governor's office said Mr. Schaefer's previous eight trade missions have generated $140 million in capital investment in Maryland and more than 800 jobs. Included on a list of success stories resulting from trade missions were the commitment by the Italian gun manufacturer Beretta to expand its operations in Maryland; the French luggage manufacturer Delsey SA's decision to invest $10 million and hire 250 people in Denton; and the June 1988 trip to Canada that reportedly helped boost the number of Canadian tourists to Maryland from 160,000 to 183,000 in 1989.

On the trip to Japan, the governor plans to distribute 2,000 copies of a newly published 150-page Maryland Business Manual, written in Japanese, that will help Japanese companies open trade relationships or invest in Maryland.

Joining the governor will be Economic and Employment Development Secretary J. Randall Evans; Transportation Secretary O. James Lighthizer; University of Maryland President William E. Kirwan; and Eric Feldmann, director of the Maryland International Division, a part of the Department of Economic and Employment Development.

Geoffrey S. Mitchell, a Baltimore attorney active in the Sister States program, and J. Owen Cole, a member of the Maryland Port Commission, also will accompany the governor, and shipping executive Edwin F. Hale will join the entourage in Singapore.

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