SANTA FE, the United States, July 21 (Xinhua) -- The U.S. state of Kentucky hoped to expand ties with China, the state governor Matt Bevin said.
"We welcome all Chinese companies to come, specifically to Kentucky, and explore opportunities," Bevin told Xinhua on the sidelines of the National Governors Association (NGA) meeting in Santa Fe, the capital city of New Mexico State.
Chinese companies, including Qingdao-based appliance manufacturer Haier Group, have ventured into Kentucky and, according to Bevin, helped create about 9,000 jobs for locals.
The governor expected the upcoming international import expo in Shanghai to be a platform where Kentucky can attract more Chinese investors.
"I'm excited," said Bevin. "(It's) a good chance for people to meet one another."
There are abundant opportunities in engineered and manufactured products, automotive and pharmaceutical industries, as well as the agricultural community, Bevin added.
In 2017, Kentucky made 9.2 billion U.S. dollars of the investment, of which 2.8 billion was foreign direct investment, according to Bevin.
Meanwhile, the businessman-turned-politician described the Chinese market as "big and exciting" for various industries in his state.
China ranked second among Kentucky's overseas markets in 2017 and Kentucky's exports to China supported 15,300 American jobs in 2016, according to the latest report from the U.S.-China Business Council.
"As we go forward, we will be strong trading partners and strong trading partners are peaceful partners. And all of the people are better for it," he said.