FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) -- Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin is leading a delegation on a trip aimed at boosting trade ties with China.
Bevin's office says the goals include strengthening relationships with Chinese companies operating in Kentucky, as well as developing new business and government connections to promote future growth.
Bevin says he wants Kentucky to be the first state that countries around the world think of when they choose to locate in the United States.
Joining Bevin for the weeklong trip are Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development executive officer Vivek Sarin and Erran Persley, the cabinet's executive director for international affairs and business development.
Bevin's office says Chinese-owned companies employ about 8,700 people at facilities in Kentucky.
Last year, Kentucky exports to China hit record levels, with more than $2.8 billion in products and services shipped.