The Vermont Chamber departs this Friday, March 11, for a 14-day trade mission to Shanghai and Taiwan. Vermont Chamber Vice President of International Trade Curtis Picard is leading the delegation, which is comprised of business people, employees of Vermonts higher educational institutions, and a representative of the state.While in Shanghai, the group will meet work with Vermont Chamber international trade liaison Chris Barbieri to finalize plans for a reverse trade mission slated for June 2005. The June reverse trade mission, one of the first of its kind, will bring Chinese individuals who are interested in doing business in the Green Mountain State, to Vermont. Attending a large semiconductor trade show, meeting with the Bureau Chief of Forbes Magazines Shanghai division, and arranging internship opportunities for Vermont students in China will round out the groups trip to Shanghai.The delegation will then travel to Taiwan for an education fair. Picard stated, Vermont higher education institutions have been extremely successful in recruiting Taiwanese students to study in Vermont. Education is one of Vermonts most lucrative industries. Taiwanese students are noticing Vermont’s high quality of education as well as our safe, clean environment when they evaluate where in the U.S. they should study.Recent World Institute for Strategic Economic Research (WISER) statistics indicate exports from Vermont to mainland China increased 49% in 2002-2003, and climbed an additional 160% in 2003-2004 reaching a total export figure of $84,104, 929.00. Exports from Vermont to Taiwan rose 28% in 2002-2003, and climbed an additional 23% in 2003-2004 reaching a total export figure of $511,935, 799.00. Vermont exports worldwide reached $3.2 billion in 2004.The Vermont Chamber of Commerce maintains permanent trade offices in Shanghai, China, and Taipei, Taiwan. The offices were established to increase the visibility and sales of Vermont products and services.