Chinese companies look to Ark. after Beebe trip

Associated Press Published: April 18, 2012
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LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Gov. Mike Beebe said Wednesday that two Chinese companies are close to relocating to Arkansas following his trade mission to China.

The governor returned Monday from a 12-day trip aimed at promoting job growth in Arkansas and exports to China.

Beebe, during his Wednesday press conference, would not name the 11 companies he met with, but mentioned the types of jobs the companies would bring to Arkansas. He said one company is timber-related and interested in southern Arkansas. The other is retail-related and looking at the northwest corner of the state.

"Some we're very optimistic about," Beebe said. "... Some were way so preliminary that it's questionable as to if anything will happen anytime in the near future."

Beebe listed the types of businesses he met with; Alternative energy, automobile parts, IT/Telecommunications, consumer durable goods, consumer soft goods and heavy equipment. The governor traveled to three provinces and met with U.S. and Chinese government officials.

Increasing Arkansas exports primarily focused on retail giant Walmart and meat producer Tyson Foods, Beebe said.