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Ellison heading to Saudi Arabia


WASHINGTON, D.C. — Rep. Keith Ellison, D-Minn., heads to Saudi Arabia next week on a trade mission with the Minnesota Trade Office and 11 Minnesota companies.

Minnesota companies exported more than $66 Million in manufactured goods to Saudi Arabia in 2008, an increase of 32 percent over the previous year, according to Ellison’s office.

“Minnesota companies recognize the expanding range of business opportunities that exist in the Kingdom for U.S. firms,” Ellison stated in a press release.  “They are eager to cooperate with Saudi business partners to bring cutting edge Minnesota products and technology to them.”

The U.S. Saudi Arabian Business Council is organizing the trip.

Minnesota companies participating include:  Hormel Institute for cancer research (associated with the Mayo Clinic), and United Health Insurance; Equaris, and Watermark Initiative (water resource service and product offerings); Thor Construction (the largest African American owned construction company in the world), and Nystrom Inc. and Tandem products from the construction arena; Aqua Sales (heat exchange tube cleaning systems); Faegre & Benson (one of the 100 largest law firms in the country); Nilfisk-Advance (commercial and industrial floor cleaning equipment makers); and Phygen Coatings (offering a thin-film coating technology that reduces metal wear in metal fabrication).