Longistics, a provider of logistics services, is hoping to help North Carolina and U.S. firms expand exports to China with a new center at a large China-based industrial park.

Gov. Bev Perdue will be at Longistics’ headquarters today to throw her support behind the Triangle-based company’s efforts that come a year after Perdue led a trade delegation to the world’s most populous country.

The center, which will offer firms a chance to display and market their products, will open on March 1 at the Suzhou Industrial Park.

Longistics hopes to have 50 companies on board in the first year of operation.

Duane Long, chairman of the company that operates Foreign Trade Zones in RTP and in Kinston at the Global TransPark, talked about why Longistics, is launching the new initiative.

Why this particular park?

The Exhibition Center is located in the second largest province of China according to Gross Domestic Product – 75 million consumers in all. The location is such that it mirrors North Carolina geographically and is equidistant between Beijing and Hong Kong.

Suzhou Industrial Park is China’s No. 1 business park. It is larger than greater Durham and it already houses 14,500 companies, more than 70 of which are in the Fortune 500.

The park is known for its intellectual property rights protection, which occasionally is a concern for U.S. companies entering the China market. They were the first to establish a regional intellectual property protection center, and there are four bureaus dedicated to IP rights.

Why should NC firms be interested in trade with China and the access your firm can provide?

North Carolina is very well suited to serve as the gateway to China for this project. We have a diverse business base and a wealth of talent and interest from our local universities. Also, Longistics has the experience and resources already in place to support this venture.

What are some of the reasons that Thursday’s announcement is important?

This project supports the President’s initiative to double U.S. exports in 5 years. So, by providing North Carolina companies with a safe, cost effective way to expand into China, we are helping them access a vast new market of consumers that have increased wealth and buying power. This will effectively save and create jobs in North Carolina.

The Exhibition Center has roots in an October 2009 Chinese delegation trip led by Gov. Bev Perdue. During the trip, Perdue and other North Carolina elected officials and industry leaders met with a number of key Chinese office holders and corporate representatives to identify partnering opportunities.

One objective is to help NC companies expand and explore new market opportunities. This solution will help companies stay competitive in the global marketplace and drive sales revenue for long term growth and stability.

(Watch a YouTube video about the park here.)

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