Governor Kitzhaber today signed a Memorandum of Understanding between Oregon and the Korea International Trade Association (KITA) and met with South Korean Prime Minister Kim Hwang-Sik in Seoul to discuss the current trade relationship between Oregon and South Korea, as well as the importance of the Free Trade Agreement currently pending Congressional approval.
"After a productive meeting with Prime Minister Hwang-Sik and the signing of this Memorandum of Understanding with the Korea International Trade Association, I look forward to further growth in our trade relationship with South Korea, particularly in regard to Oregon's agricultural goods, including beef, dairy, wheat, fruit and vegetables," Governor Kitzhaber said.
The Memorandum of Understanding signed by the Governor and KITA states that Oregon and KITA will communicate and share information on goods and services available for export; notify each other on upcoming tradeshows and other marketing opportunities; encourage delegation visits; and advise each other about firms interested in direct foreign investment.
While in Seoul, the Governor also met with Y.M. Kim, President and CEO of Hanjin Shipping, which has continued to increase the number of containers it brings through the Port of Portland despite the economic downturn. Part of the delegation met with Asiana Cargo, which began its new non-stop air cargo service between Korea and PDX on Sept. 2 with approximately 20 tons of cargo shipped on the inaugural flight, including 10 tons of Pacific Northwest blueberries.
Earlier in the week, the Governor held meetings in Tokyo and Osaka, including a sit down with Sanyo Electric Company President Seiichiro Sano to thank and congratulate him on the successful launch of Sanyo Solar of Oregon's solar manufacturing facility in Salem, which currently employs about 200 workers.
"Japan understands that Oregon has a world-class workforce, and we stand ready to assist in Sanyo's continued success in Oregon," Governor Kitzhaber said.
Governor Kitzhaber will travel to China on September 16 for meetings in Beijing and Shanghai, including the Chinese Ministry of Commerce and Trade and the American Chamber of Commerce.
For more information about the day-to-day happenings on this business mission to Asia, read the blog by the Governor and members of his delegation at http://blog.oregonlive.com/governor/