Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton plans to visit Japan and will lead a trade mission to South Korea (Republic of Korea) this fall to help Minnesota companies build business relationships and increase exports to the Asian countries.
Japan and South Korea are two of the state's largest export markets, with Japan purchasing $930 million in products from Minnesota manufacturers last year and South Korea accounting for another $605 million in sales. Japan is the third-largest export market for Minnesota companies, while South Korea ranks sixth, up from ninth in 2009 and 14th one decade ago.
"Japan and the Republic of Korea are two important markets for Minnesota businesses with the potential for further growth," Dayton said. "The goal of the trade mission is to make contacts and build relationships that will help Minnesota companies increase exports to that part of the world and create more jobs for here."
While in Tokyo, the governor plans to speak at the Midwest U.S.-Japan Conference, a major international economic development conference. Minnesota will sponsor the Midwest U.S.-Japan Conference in 2012, and it is customary for the host governor to welcome Japanese companies the year prior. Other plans include meeting with Noriyuki Inoue, chairman and CEO of Osaka-based Daikin Industries, whose worldwide holdings include McQuay International in Plymouth.
Following Gov. Dayton's visit to Japan, he will lead a Minnesota trade mission to Seoul, South Korea, scheduled for Sept. 25 to Oct. 1.
The South Korea trade mission will include a briefing at the U.S. Embassy in Seoul and site visits to Minnesota companies with operations in the country. Meetings also are planned with industry leaders, government officials and representatives from companies interested in investing in operations in Minnesota. Minnesota companies participating in the trade mission will also have an opportunity to meet with Korean companies through a business-to-business matchmaking service.
Representatives from Minnesota businesses, educational institutions and cultural groups interested in joining Gov. Dayton on the trade mission can apply online at www.positivelyminnesota.com\trade. The deadline to apply is Aug. 12.
MTO, an office within the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development, is focused on increasing state export sales in foreign markets. The MTO promotes international trade by providing export information, export education and training, and one-on-one counseling to Minnesota companies that wish to sell manufactured goods and services in the international marketplace.