Representatives from most of the companies participating in the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development’s (ECD) week-long trade mission to China and South Korea are expected to depart today.
The event “officially” begins on Monday, April 16 although there is a special reception on Sunday, April 15. Two of the 11 companies participating are based in Knoxville. They are ABT Molecular Imaging, Inc., and Gryphus Diagnostics.
The delegation will visit Beijing, China and Seoul, South Korea where they will attend meetings arranged by the U.S. Commercial Service. The mission participants will also travel to Shenzhen, China to attend the China International Medical Equipment Fair, the largest exhibition of medical equipment and related products and services in the Asia-Pacific region.
In a brief interview with teknovation.biz on the eve of his departure, Rick Rippin, Director of Sales for ABT, talked about the importance of the mission to the relatively young company founded by Ron and Lynda Nutt. Joining him on the trip is Tom Welch, ABT’s President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO).
“This is a tremendous opportunity for us,” Rippin said, noting the size of the Asian market. They are looking forward to the high level meetings and other venues that will allow ABT to identify local partners in China and Korea.
Rippin added that participating in a formal trade mission, rather than trying to arrange meetings on your own, “gives you a great advantage.”
ABT is a molecular imaging company and manufacturer of the “Dose on Demand” Biomarker Generator which provides researchers and clinicians access to PET biomarkers on demand.
Rippin has agreed to provide update reports about the trade mission throughout the week ahead. They will be posted on teknovation.biz as they are received.
The delegates fly to South Korea on April 19 for their final two days. Rippin returns to the U.S. on April 21.
ECD Assistant Commissioner Will Alexander arrived in China on April 12. Prior to departing the U.S., he described the mission as “an excellent opportunity for these Tennessee businesses to open the door for exports to two rapidly growing Asian markets.”
The two ABT participants joined the company in 2009 in their current positions. Prior to joining ABT, Welch was the CEO of PETNET Solutions, Inc., a division of Siemens Medical Solutions, Inc. Rippin has more than 20 years of experience in sales and marketing in the diagnostic imaging industry, holding positions with Siemens Medical Solutions, Toshiba America Medical Systems, and Naviscan.