Joined by Governor Mark Dayton today at the Minnesota State Capitol, Taiwanese trade officials and business leaders signed letters of intent to purchase billions of dollars of agricultural products from farmers in Minnesota and other Midwestern states over the next two years. The Taiwanese delegation plans to purchase up to $3.5 billion of American corn and soybeans in 2014 and 2015. Taiwan is Minnesota's sixth-largest export market, and a key trading partner for the state's corn and soybean growers.
"Minnesota farmers produce the highest quality agricultural products in the world," said Governor Dayton. "Our trade relations with other nations, including Taiwan, are crucial to ensuring that our farmers can sell their products in the global marketplace. I want to thank everyone involved, especially the corn and soybean growers of Minnesota, for their efforts to support strong business relationships, and promote the exchange of goods."
The Taiwanese delegation, led by Mr. Wen-Deh Chen, Vice Minister of the Taiwan Council of Agriculture, plans to purchase 197 million bushels of U.S. corn and 500,000 metric tons of dried distillers grains (DDGS), valued at an estimated $1.83 billion. The deal also includes the purchase of between 92 million and 99 million bushels of U.S. soybeans valued at an estimated $1.68 billion.
"The U.S. remains one of Taiwan's largest suppliers of agricultural products, regularly supplying one-fourth of the Island's total food import needs," said Mr. Chen. "This visit will help to further-strengthen our bilateral trade relations."
In January 2013, Minnesota Agriculture Commissioner Dave Frederickson led a trade mission to Taiwan to personally extend an invitation to the 2013 Taiwan Agricultural Trade Goodwill Mission to visit Minnesota and sign letters of intent to purchase corn and soybeans.