SHANGHAI, CHINA -- Governor Bob Riley, in China to promote exports of Alabama products, visited a prestigious Shanghai hotel where he saw an Alabama-made export being used.
The Governor and Alabama First Lady Patsy Riley toured the Xiaojiao Guest House, which uses carpet and rugs that were made in Saraland with yarn from Roanoke. The Rileys toured the hotel with Robert Munisteri of Saraland-based Masland Carpets and Rugs, a member of the Dixie Group. Munisteri is the company's director of international sales and is in China as part of the delegation put together by Governor Riley that is visiting the country on a week-long trade and business mission.
"Alabama has truly become an international state. Today, you can go all over the world and find Alabama-made products," said Governor Riley. "The recent growth of our Alabama exports has been remarkable. That outstanding growth has helped us to have one of the strongest economies in the nation. But we can't sit back and wait for these export opportunities to come to us. We've got to continually pursue them, like Masland Carpets is doing. Their aggressive export strategy is creating jobs back home and boosting our state's economy."
Exports have become an increasingly important part of the company's overall business. It currently exports its products from Alabama to more than 40 countries worldwide.
The company has been exporting its carpets and rugs to China since 1995. In addition to the Xiaojiao Guest House, the company's carpets and rugs can be found in many other locations in China, including the Beijing International Airport and the Dalian Convention Center.