Like any business, launching into a new trading effort with China will be difficult, but "we have a wonderful support network for agribusiness to make this happen," says Matthew Tripodi.
"We have on-the-ground teams in many markets around the globe waiting to help," the Euromonitor International government relations manager told Oregon growers.
"There has never been more imported product in the U.S. marketplace, so why think of investing in only the domestic market if you are an American grower," he adds. "You want to diversify, just as you do with your 401k portfolio to plan for retirement.
"This (trade) is about spreading your risk."
His observation is that businesses that diversify their global marketplace are more successful.
Hong Kong is the hub of regional trading with China, Foreign Agricultural Service Hong Kong Agricultural Trade Office director Erich Kuss told Oregon's "China: A New Frontier for Oregon Agriculture" seminar in Portland.
With no duties on ag products, Hong Kong is a magnet for Pacific Northwest farm trade sent into the area called the Pearl River Delta, which Kuss calls the "richest region of China" and gateway to a 50 million population.
Consider Hong Kong not only the doorway to China, but the regional trade platform to Asia, says the FAS director of ag trade in the area. But shippers may want to avoid nearby Macao, he added, despite the appealing $76,000 per capita income there. The big casino town and its $38 billion a year gaming industry is not a big market for U.S. sales, he observes.
If there is any doubt that China has caught the interest of the FAS thinks China is an important ingredient in the future of U.S. ag export, consider the fact that the USDA agency has no fewer than six offices in the nation, more than in any other country.
"We saw this as a big growth market," said Kuss.