Rep. Dillingham participates in Maine International Trade Day
Maine’s Future in the Global Bioeconomy Explored
PORTLAND – House Republican Leader Kathleen Dillingham (R-Oxford) joined Governor Mills, U.S. Senator Angus King and Maine business leaders to participate in Trade Day 2019. This year’s event explored how businesses can be part of a global paradigm shift, by exploring the potential to re-invent Maine’s economy and position our businesses and research institutions in the global bioeconomy of the future.
This year’s Keynote Speaker, Jaana Husu-Kallio, Finland’s Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (Pictured with Rep. Dillingham), oversaw the transformation of Finland, reengineering its struggling forest economy into a world bioeconomy leader.
“Maine’s natural resource economy, with its vast renewable resources, expertise and heritage, is uniquely positioned to meet the growing global demand for sustainable products,” said House Republican Leader Kathleen Dillingham (R-Oxford). “We learned about many new and innovative companies and products that highlight the importance of solidifying the economic gains of the last 8 years and growing the Maine economy.”
From the Maine International Trade Center:
The bioeconomy uses renewable biological resources from land and sea – such as fish, forests, and micro-organisms – to produce energy, food, and value-added materials. The wide array of biobased products include edible water bottles made from seaweed, compostable plastic bags, and apparel made from milk, wood, or coffee grounds. Moving from a fossil fuel to a biobased economy can help to slow the negative impacts of climate change and create new economic activity in and around rural regions.
Finland, the most heavily forested country in the EU, is a leader in the global bioeconomy. Over the past 10 years, Finland has transformed their forest industry into a dynamic cluster of more than 50 pulp and paper mills with over 200 other production sites. Today, the country’s bioeconomy sector employs more than 300,000 people and produces (along with wood products and paper) advanced biofuels, biodegradable packaging, chemicals, cosmetics, and pharmaceuticals.