By Alex Schuman
Governor Terry Branstad's office confirmed he will meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping during an upcoming trade trip. He and several dozen Iowa business leaders leave for China Friday.
President Xi, who spent time in Iowa during the 1980s, and Branstad have a special 30 year relationship they hope promotes economic growth among their constituencies.
"It's pretty unique to have a relationship between a governor and the President of China," said Tina Hoffman, spokesperson for the Iowa Economic Development Authority.
Their relationship helps solidify current business agreements big Iowa companies already have in the country, but also opens up possibilities for the little guys.
"As China continues to develop and allow access for new products and services," said Hoffman. "Having that Iowa in your name doesn't hurt. That's been a good thing for our businesses. "
"We'll have a business conference as well as an opportunity for business owners to see the culture," said Julie Cooper, Ankeny Area Chamber of Commerce.
Learning the Chinese culture can be critical to succeeding in the ever-changing, and growing Chinese economy.
"If you want to do business with China you have to know China very well - know the culture," said George Lu, who immigrated to the U.S. from China. "If you don't know how to deal with the people there, how will you make your business?"
The October trip costs 2,399 dollars. If you are interested, you will want to contact one of these groups as soon as possible.