Maryland Set to Expand Business Ties in Asia
Conference Brings Together Female Executives from China, US
By: Winyan Soo Hoo
Above: Ben Wu, Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Technology Policy, discusses recent strides Maryland has made in the business sector. Photo by Winyan Soo Hoo.
Big changes may be in store
for Maryland’s economy. With a new office in India and growing exports, the state has parlayed efforts
on the international realm – particularly in Asia.
The Conference of America-China Women Business Leaders in October gave a pat on
the back for policy makers and business leaders responsible for the state’s current
“Maryland and India are leaders in many of the same key industries,” said
Aris Melissaratros, of the
Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development. “Opening the Maryland India Center presents a golden opportunity for Maryland to tap into the tremendous potential for partnerships
with Indian companies, as well as encourage Indian companies to take a closer
look at Maryland.”
opened its 11th foreign office in Bangalore, India, to focus on industries such as biotechnology. The
department also has offices in Shanghai, Taipei
and Singapore. Deputy Secretary Chris Foster continued to highlight
the state’s expanding science research abroad.
now have physical programs in Beijing and Delhi, and there’s a John’s Hopkins Institute in Singapore,” said Chris Foster, Maryland Department of Business
and Economic Development (DBED) deputy secretary. “We must take advantage of
our language capabilities to do international business.”
March, Gov. Ehrlich publicly recognized the record high number of exports in Maryland as it reached $7.1 billion, a considerable jump from $5.7
billion in 2004. The state provides exports to 200 countries, with Canada topping the list at $1.4 billion.
exports, we rank 32nd in the nation, but we still have a long way to
go,” Foster said.
improve trade, the DBED plans on focusing on infrastructure services in China and India and defense-related services in Taiwan. Lockheed Martin has struck a deal to provide more
aerospace technology for defense.
academic side, South Korea signed a partnership with Johns Hopkins University
School of Medicine in September to explore adult stem cells for treatment of
human disease. The join venture, led by RNL Bio Company, will establish its
headquarters and research unit near the Maryland site.
is critical that Maryland fosters a supportive environment for companies like
RNL Bio, whose work with adult stem cells offers hope to millions of Americans
suffering from debilitating conditions,” Gov. Ehrlich said.
Stem Cell Fund aims at advancing the use of adult stem cell therapies in bone, spinal
cord and hepatic diseases, and the regeneration of heart tissue.
majority of Chinese female executives and entrepreneurs attended the conference
held in Bethesda, Md., participating in one-on-one mentorship workshops and
panel discussions related to the theme, “New Economy, New Women, New Beginning,
New Mission -- Women and Innovation.”
will give companies opportunities to form global strategic relationships,” said
Jade Zhou, executive director of the conference. “It is innovative and novel
because no one has successfully brought such a large delegation from China. Sharing information on the convergence of technology
and events, along with understanding the global supply chain, will lead
businesses to success in globalization.”
estimated 20 million women hold business executive positions in China, making up a large portion of all Chinese companies.
With that detail in mind, Zhou said she may possibly move the conference to China next year.