PIERRE, S.D. (AP) — Officials say companies must apply soon if they want to join Gov. Dennis Daugaard on the next trade mission to China.

Pat Costello, commissioner of the Governor's Office of Economic Development, says companies must submit applications by Jan. 17.

Costello says companies interested in exporting to China should consider applying for the trade mission. He says the world's most populous nation offers business opportunities because its population and economy continue to grow.

State Agriculture Secretary Lucas Lentsch says China is interested in importing U.S. agricultural products, and the trade mission offers South Dakota agricultural companies a chance to sell to China.

The trip, tentatively set for May 6-15, will be Daugaard's third trade mission to China.

Companies interested in taking part in the trade mission can find information at www.sdreadytowork.com

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