Governor Chris Gregoire of the US ’s Washington state will lead a trade mission to Vietnam and China in September as part of an effort to increase the state's exports.

A news release issued on June 21 by the Governor's Office said that the governor will visit the World Expo in Shanghai , stop over in other Chinese cities and visit Vietnam .

The trip is part of an initiative announced recently that is intended to bring in 600 million USD in new export sales for state businesses.

At a hearing convened by several congressional committees at the Port of Seattle on June 22, Gregoire said that in addition to reaching out to potential trading partners, she wanted to encourage more foreign students to study in Washington , and start up a "farm-to-market" initiative that will have existing state programmes compete for money to develop their ideas.

According to the Democratic governor, exports have been a big part of Washington 's past economic health, and trade is going to help the state lead the nation in recovery from the recession.

The mission's itineraries were being developed, said Gregoire's spokeswoman Karina Shagren, who added one "obvious goal is to open new export markets."

"Asia has weathered the recession better than we have, so the hope is to reach out to buyers there and develop new markets for Washington businesses," she said.

Washington state has been well-known for aircraft, electronics, biotechnology and mining industries./.