Document Type



Good day.

This weekend, as we root for the Boston Red Sox to what we hope will be their second World Series victory in four years, we should take a minute look at the makeup of this team and why they are successful.

The Red Sox have the free-spirited “Manny being Manny”; Jonathan Papelbon who has an unbreakable concentration; and the big bat from the loveable Big Papi; and an impressive rookie class of players who dazzled us just a few years ago at Hadlock Field.

The Boston Red Sox are achieving success by having a mix of seasoned veterans and talented young energetic rookies from their own system. But the Sox also know that in order to be successful, sometimes you have to look beyond your borders.

Last year the Red Sox went overseas and signed Japenese baseball sensations Daisuke Matsuzaka and Hideki Okajima. Daisuke has baffled opposing batters with his “Gyro-ball” and Okajima was voted to the American League All Star Team in July. These two off-season acquisitions have proven to be very instrumental in their success this season.

But much like the Red Sox, Maine businesses also realize that to be successful, sometimes it is imperative to look beyond U.S. soil. We live in a global economy and it’s no longer a competition with New Hampshire and Vermont - but we’re competing with businesses that are in countries thousands of miles from here.

Next week I will lead a delegation of Maine businesses and community leaders from Maine on a trade mission to Japan and South Korea.

It’s an important trip that holds great promise to help grow our economy, introduce Maine products to fast-growing trade partners in Asia and to create new jobs here at home.

I’m a bit of a homebody. I grew up in Maine and love this state. When I was a member of Congress for 8 years, I never went on any overseas trips. But as Governor, I have a responsibility to help boost the state’s economy and do what I can to bring economic development to the State of Maine.

These trade missions that have been established over the years by different Governors and different Administrations have sought to bring businesses, industry and community leaders in closer contact with officials overseas.

This mission that I’m taking is going to be a crucial one.

In the previous three, we have increased sales from Maine companies by at least $12.8 million dollars - and that’s a conservative number that only tracks new sales in the first year after the mission.

Yes, we’ve gone to Ireland and the UK, Germany, Italy, and France. Each time we’ve met with success.

But if Maine wants to expand its share of the international marketplace, we’ve got to pay attention to countries and show what we have to offer. If you want to expand trade with Asia, you’ve got to go to Asia.

Japan is the fourth largest trading partner of the State of Maine. It accounts for more than $128 million in exports. South Korea is fifth, with more than $100 million in exports.

When the Maine International Trade Center began planning this year’s trip, the nonprofit association went to businesses and ask: “Where should we be going?”

And the answer came back time and time again: we should be going to Japan and South Korea.

To expand our success in these markets, we have to be aggressive in pursuit of new trade opportunities. We can’t sit back and expect new trading partners to find us. We’ve got to go out and find them.

When Maine companies grow and export more to other countries, the effects ripple around the state. New jobs are created, the economy expands and state revenues increase.

This year’s trip features a wide range of companies. There’s a seafood company specializing in lobsters, a distiller, high tech companies and an old Maine standard like Maine Pulp and Paper and Thomas Moser Cabinetmaker.

We also have a strong contingent from our universities and community colleges. Their goal is to attract new students – and new ideas – to Maine’s great schools, broadening the experience for our kids, growing enrollment and breaking down the cultural walls that stand between the United States and other parts of the world.

There’s no question that trade missions have a positive impact on Maine’s economy. Businesses operate with an eye toward their bottom line. The high level of interest in this trip shows the potential for international trade.

This trip is about creating jobs and growing Maine’s economy. Maine has tremendous resources, innovative businesses and a reputation for quality. Part of my job is spreading that message.

The world is changing. Maine is very well-positioned to take advantage of those changes. But we can’t be content and wait for it to come to us because it won’t. We’ve got to act with confidence and show the world that what we have to offer they need more of.

I am convinced that this trade mission will be successful – as the others have been - and that success will spread throughout our state.

Wish us luck, and know that while we’re gone I’ll be thinking of home…and cheering for the Red Sox from 7,000 miles away.

Good luck to you and good luck to Boston!

Exact Creation Date






Files over 3MB may be slow to open. For best results, right-click and select "Save As"



Rights Statement

Rights Statement

No Copyright - United States. URI: http://rightsstatements.org/vocab/NoC-US/1.0/
The organization that has made the Item available believes that the Item is in the Public Domain under the laws of the United States, but a determination was not made as to its copyright status under the copyright laws of other countries. The Item may not be in the Public Domain under the laws of other countries. Please refer to the organization that has made the Item available for more information.