ST. PAUL (AP) -- Figures released Friday by the Minnesota Department of Trade and Economic Development show that manufactured exports grew 1 percent in 1999, to $9.2 billion.
Minnesota exports to China increased by 19.9 percent to $589.9 million. That amount, which includes trade to Hong Kong, makes China the state's third-biggest market, up from fifth in 1998 and eighth in 1997.
Gov. Jesse Ventura hopes Congress will extend permanent normal trade relations to China, and he has volunteered to lobby on behalf of President Clinton's initiative.
Minnesota trade chief Jerry Carlson said the state would take advantage of the enhanced trade status. ''China offers enormous potential for Minnesota exporters,'' Carlson said.
Exports to Japan fell 2.4 percent in 1999, but the country still retained its status as the second-biggest foreign market for Minnesota products. Canada is the top market.
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