Suffolk County Executive Steve Levy at a news conference at...

Suffolk County Executive Steve Levy at a news conference at the Dennison building in Hauppauge. (May 5, 2011) Credit: James Carbone

Suffolk County Executive Steve Levy is in China pursuing a food-processing plant that could possibly employ up to 500 people here.

Levy and Yves Michel, the county's economic development commissioner, flew to Asia on Monday, according to Levy spokesman Mark Smith. After a stopover in Korea, the officials arrived in Zhanjiang City on Wednesday.

Zhanjiang City is located on a peninsula at the southern tip of the Chinese mainland. Levy expects Friday to sign a sister county agreement with Xuwen, located south of Zhanjiang City and home to 650,000 people.

Levy will spend the rest of the week and weekend meeting with business executives and government officials who are interested in establishing a food-processing plant in the United States. The factory would produce soda and ready-to-eat meals that require adding only hot water to prepare. The products would be sold in North America.

Levy's spokesman said he would leave China on Tuesday and arrive in New York City on Wednesday.

The Chinese are paying for the trip, and the Queens-based civic group Asian-American Council is assisting Suffolk officials.

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