With Oregon's economy still struggling to find a full recovery, Governor Kitzhaber will lead a business mission of public and private sector leaders to Asia to promote Oregon products and innovation and attract new investments to the state.
Oregon's exports are one of the bright spots of the state's economy with international trade growing by 19 percent in the last year on nearly $18 billion in foreign sales. China is Oregon's largest trading partner while Japan imports more of the state's agricultural products than any other nation.
"I am committed to doing everything I can to get more Oregonians back to work, boost our per capita income, and make sure that every corner of our state is on a solid path to prosperity," said Governor Kitzhaber. "Accessing international markets is a critical piece of my plan to create jobs in Oregon and help our businesses small and large. With Oregonians still struggling, this is exactly the right time for us to be actively marketing Oregon products and innovation around the world."
International trade impacts every part of the state with nearly 5,000 Oregon companies exporting their goods and services abroad -- from large companies like Intel and Nike to wheat farmers in Eastern Oregon, paddle makers in Bend, and motorcycle manufacturers in Ashland.
Fred Ziari, President & CEO of IRZ Consulting, is one of the private sector leaders joining the Governor on the mission.
"IRZ is growing rapidly and expanding its global and international water resource management services," said Ziari. "I am personally honored and gratified at the opportunity to represent Oregon business and agriculture on this well-timed, much-needed, and valuable business mission. I look forward to working with the other members of the delegation in showing our Asian counterparts the best of Oregon."
The Governor and his team will meet with South Korean Prime Minister Kim Hwang-Sik, as well as a number of important dignitaries and trade partners, including Mitsubishi Motor EV and Sanyo in Japan; Asiana Cargo and Hanjin in South Korea; and State Councilor Madam Liu Yandong and COSCO Container Lines in China.
BREAK IN TRANSCRIPT