HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — Gov. Dannel P. Malloy said Wednesday that China's rapidly growing middle class offers an opportunity for businesses in Connecticut to expand in the country.
Malloy spoke Wednesday from China, where he is on an eight-day trip meeting with business leaders and officials and attending a World Economic Forum summit. The Democrat has said he was the state's first governor to travel to China since former Gov. William O'Neill in 1987.
Malloy says other governors have been actively promoting their state in China and Connecticut must do the same to win business.
"Connecticut is finally raising its flag in China after a 25-year absence," Malloy said. "I don't think we have competed on an equal footing with other states."
Malloy, speaking on a conference call with reporters, was asked about whether there was extra security around Americans when the phone cut off after Malloy started to answer the question. Malloy returned a few minutes later to the call and said he was not sure what happened.
Malloy said he's talking about Connecticut industries such as precision manufacturing, insurance, financial services and bioscience. He said Connecticut has about 175 businesses in the aerospace industry that could benefit as China develops more airplanes.
China has about 300 million middle class citizens and expects to add another 800 million in 20 years, Malloy said. He said China is the only country that will more than double its middle class so quickly.
Malloy said he'd like to see Connecticut's exports to China, now at slightly less than $1 billion, double in a reasonable period of time
Chinese officials want to invest abroad, Malloy said.
"It is revolutionary for China to be thinking of investing, private investment in foreign countries and to be encouraging it as a matter of national policy," Malloy said
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