A Chinese tobacco company has announced plans to open its North America headquarters in North Carolina. The state Agriculture Department has worked hard to bolster trade relations with China. And it’s paid off.
China Tobacco International informed Ag Commissioner Steve Troxler this week that they will be opening offices in Cary. Peter Thornton, a spokesman for International Marketing at the Ag Department, says North Carolina competed with several states to win over this Chinese tobacco monopoly.
“There are more smokers in China than there are people in the United States. China is a growth market, they are increasingly looking for high quality tobaccos which are produced in North Carolina," Thornton said.
China has surpassed Japan as North Carolina’s biggest tobacco importer, purchasing $157 million dollars worth of tobacco in the first quarter of this year.
Madam Zhanhua Liang, President of US China Tobacco International, said in a statement that North Carolina was the best place for their company.
"I think it is better to be closer to the farmers, and this department and the local governments helped us to make the decision to move here," she said.
Thornton says the US was the last major tobacco supplier where China did not have an office.