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Mass. governor leading trade mission to Colombia

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BOSTON (AP) — Gov. Deval Patrick and state economic development officials are on a trade visit this weekend to Columbia.

The trade mission begins Saturday and ends Tuesday. The group is meeting with business and government leaders, including President Juan Manuel Santos and top ministers.

The South American nation has a growing presence life sciences — including medical device manufacturers — and clean energy.

The U.S. signed a trade agreement hoping to expand American exports to Colombia by more than $1 billion. Massachusetts exported about $81.5 million to Colombia last year, 33rd among the state's trade partners.

The governor's office says the trade mission is expected to cost about $180,000. Part of that will be picked up by private businesses.

Patrick has led trade missions to Brazil, Chile, Israel, England and China. His wife, Diane, will accompany him this time.

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