Lt. Gov. Brad Owen is almost halfway through a 20-day trade mission to Asia and has finished the first leg in China. He's now in India to boost U.S.-Indian ties.
You can read all about it at “Overseas With Brad,” a blog the Democrat's staff has prepared to chronicle his global wanderings.
Volunteers on the mission are expected to add more posts, according to Owen spokesman Brian Dirks.
Owen landed in India this week after President Obama's visit ended, and Owen says in one post it was good timing for the Washington-to-India mission that had been in the works over two years. "U.S. – India relations will be a topic of worldwide focus, and we will be there specifically to promote India relations with the state of Washington," Owen said. He and staffers describe the world's second most populous country as a potential market for U.S. exports.
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Of course, it's always hard to tell what specific economic benefit will spin back to Washington, and Owen's people haven't spelled out early examples of success. Owen's travel costs are picked up typically by the mission sponsors and participants, who pay their own way to go.
In China, Owen attended a convention of the Soo Yuen Benevolent Association, which had 70 people visiting from Seattle's Chinese community, in Taishan, Guangdong Province, near Hong Kong. His blog says he is an honorary member of the Seattle chapter and was invited to speak to the convention. He also scheduled meetings with "government and university leaders in Meizhou City."
U.S. Rep. Jim McDermott and Owen are co-leading the delegation's trip to India. The trip is on behalf of the Washington State India Trade Relations Action Committee. Visits are planned to universities, government officials and ports. Port of Seattle chief executive Tay Yoshitani is joining the ports tour.
Owen and two staffers that accompanied him on the India portion of the trip return Nov. 23.