- Associated Press - Tuesday, July 5, 2016

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson said Tuesday he’s leaving for Europe this weekend to attend an airshow in England and to open a state economic development office in Germany.

The Republican governor said he’s leaving Saturday on the trip and returning on July 14. He’ll travel first to London to attend the Farnborough International Airshow on Monday, where he and state economic development representatives will meet with aerospace companies.

“Hopefully our visits there will continue to result in growth in our economy and the expansion of our aero-defense industry in Arkansas,” Hutchinson said at a news conference at the state Capitol.

Hutchinson is to travel to Berlin on July 12 to open the state’s economic development office in Germany. Arkansas already has two economic development offices overseas, in Japan and China. He’s expected to meet with U.S. Ambassador John Emerson and representatives from several German companies with ties to Arkansas.

The 10-person delegation for the trip includes the governor, first lady Susan Hutchinson and state Economic Development Director Mike Preston, Economic Development Commission spokesman Scott Hardin said. Hardin said the state’s cost for the trip is $69,481 for flights, hotels, meals and space at the airshow. The nonprofit Economic Development Foundation is also paying for several items on the trip such as room and board for the governor and first lady.

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