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Cost of O’Malley’s Asia trip is about $100,000, aide says

Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley’s 10-day economic development mission to Asia is expected to cost taxpayers roughly $100,000, a tab that aides say the administration has worked to limit.

O’Malley (D) is traveling with a 68-member delegation, which includes government and business leaders and educators, on a trip with stops in China, South Korea and Vietnam. The costs for most members are being covered personally or by their companies or institutions.

The state is paying for O’Malley, one aide from his office, Department of Business and Economic Development Secretary Christian Johansson, Maryland Secretary of State John McDonough and few other administration officials, said Rick Abbruzzese, O’Malley’s director of public affairs.

“We were very mindful of the costs while planning the trip, but already this jobs trade mission has resulted in millions of dollars coming back to Maryland,” said Abbruzzese, who is not traveling with the delegation, which flew coach to Shanghai.

O’Malley’s 13-year-old son, William, is on the China leg of the trip, but his expenses are not being covered by taxpayers, Abbruzzese said.

William O’Malley can be spotted in a video released by the governor’s office Sunday that was shot outside the presidential palace in Nanjing, China.

In the video, O’Malley relays that the delegation has had “a great couple of days” and that he recently met with the mayor of Nanjing.

“This is a province that really excels in the innovation economy,” O’Malley says, as several curious tourists appear behind him.

Earlier on the trip, O’Malley announced that Tasly Group, one of China’s leading biopharmaceutical companies, will invest $40 million in a new U.S. operation in Montgomery County and that several other smaller deals have been reached.

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