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Lingle draws more than 300 in Shanghai

By Associated Press

LAST UPDATED: 01:09 a.m. HST, Jul 10, 2010

Gov. Linda Lingle addressed more than 300 members of the American Chamber of Commerce yesterday in Shanghai.

Lingle covered a range of topics, including Hawaii's progress in promoting clean energy and the status of direct flights from China to Honolulu, the Governor's Office said. According to its website, the American Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai was the third American chamber established outside the U.S. when it was founded in 1915. Its members range from Fortune 500 corporations to entrepreneurs.

Lingle was also a featured speaker yesterday at a forum hosted by the ELS American Education Center in Shanghai, talking to about 150 Chinese students about the benefits of studying at colleges and universities in Hawaii. Representatives from the University of Hawaii, Hawaii Pacific University and Chaminade University were on hand for the address.

On Sunday, Lingle discussed U.S. relations with Japan and China with the consul general of Japan, Yutako Yokoi.

Lingle will be at the USA Pavilion of the 2010 World Expo in Shanghai today, "Hawaii Day," to help kick off "Hawaii Week" with state legislative leaders, representatives from the Hawaii Tourism Authority and the visitor industry, and entertainers. The exposition is expected to attract more than 70 million visitors, 86 percent of whom will come from China.

Shanghai is Lingle's first stop on her two-week trip to Asia to open Chinese markets to Hawaii-produced goods and to promote Hawaii tourism to Japanese travelers.

She will also visit two other Chinese cities, Guangzhou and Kunming, before traveling to Beijing. There she will talk to U.S. Ambassador Jon Huntsman about efforts to ease the visa process, meet with Chinese tourism authorities and speak at an "Invest in Hawaii" seminar.

On the way home, Lingle's itinerary calls for her to stop in Tokyo, where she and Hawaii Tourism Authority officials will hold a series of meetings with Japanese airline and tourism industry representatives.

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