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Gov. Gary Herbert and more than two dozen business leaders and a handful of Utah legislators are taking part in a weeklong mission to China to develop trade relations.

The trip that began Friday comes in the last days of former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr.'s tenure as U.S. ambassador to China, an important factor in determining its time frame.

"As we embark on this trade mission, we know China is clearly becoming a major trading partner with many Utah companies," Herbert said in a statement. "Through our work with local business and government leaders, we will foster and strengthen potent partnerships in business, education and tourism that create jobs and opportunity for Utah's economy."

Participants include several executives from dietary supplement companies, including Nu Skin, Tahitian Noni, Xango and Usana, and a number of investment funds. Four state lawmakers are also on the trip.

Much of the itinerary remains in flux, but the delegation plans to spend time in Shanghai and Beijing. The governor plans to attend a ribbon-cutting for a Utah-based business expanding in China, and the group will meet with Huntsman.

Herbert has stated his goal is to double Utah's exports within the next five years. Last year, Utah businesses exported $10.3 billion worth of goods worldwide. Utah's exports to China increased by 239 percent over the past five years, according to Brett Heimburger, regional director for Asia at the Governor's Office of Economic Development.

"This trade mission is an important step to strengthening that relationship even further," Heimburger said. —

Who's going to China?

Individuals participating in the Utah trade mission to China:

State of Utah representatives

Gov. Gary Herbert and first lady Jeanette Herbert

Aiveni Taufa

Jess Anderson

Derek and Laura Miller

Robert Spendlove

Brett Heimburger

Kit Burton

Leigh von der Esch

Cynthia Chen


Rep. Eric and Stacey Hutchings

Sen. Curt and Susan Bramble

Rep. David and Nan Clark

Rep. Paul Ray

Business representatives

Bill Jiang, SinoLink Foundation

Matt Holland, Utah Valley University

Norm Wright, Utah Valley University

Jeremy Hanks, Doba

Jon Beckstrand, Master Control Inc.

Chad Fox, Master Control Inc.

Rich Hartvigsen, Nu Skin

Rob Johnson, Tahitian Noni

Bryan Davis, Xango

Kevin McMurray, USANA

Anthony Nickens, Ceramatec

Lynn Astle, Cosmas Inc.

Lewis and Ronda Farrell, Exordium Group

Stan Weed, AEGIS International

Mark and Carson Garfield, Zions Bank

Lew Cramer, World Trade Center Utah

Chris Shurian, Utah Regional Investment Fund (EB5 Center)

Kreg and Amanda Peeler, Utah Regional Investment Fund (EB5 Center)

Ron Hansen, AC-FPS

Kim Lofgreen, EDCU and MMK Partners

Rich Nelson, Utah Technology Council

Tim Bridgewater, Utah Fund of Funds

John Clayton, First Equity Holdings

Doug Reed, Advent Systems

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