|Updated: 4/18/2012 5:41 pm
||Published: 4/18/2012 5:35 pm
LITTLE ROCK, AR - Governor Mike Beebe is back in Arkansas after a nearly two week trip to Asia. Beebe traveled to China to try and bring business back to Arkansas.
Photos capture a lot of Beebe's trip to China, meeting with dignitaries, business leaders, learning the language.
“I learned how to say ‘thank you’, you say that a lot," Beebe says.
He'll say "thank you" a lot more if he's able to bring Chinese businesses into Arkansas. Something he told reporters two Chinese companies that have already visited here are close to doing.
“It was follow-ups with us on serious negotiations on their interest in an investment," Beebe says.
Tyson and Walmart are two companies with deep Arkansas ties that have a strong presence in China as well. Beebe visited a Chinese Walmart store and met with 11 companies over 12 days.
Potential industries the governor would like to see come to Arkansas include alternative energy, automobile parts, it/telecommunications and heavy equipment.
"Some businesses were in medium stages along the way where they have an interest in coming to the United States but they didn't know much about Arkansas and were trying to get their foot in the door," Beebe says.
Beebe says he knows of about half-a-dozen other states who've sent their governors to china too. He's hoping the trip pays off for Arkansas jobs.
The governor says no timetable on any job announcements but did leak out that the two interested Chinese companies are looking at South and Northwest Arkansas.