TOKYO (KTVZ) — Governor Kate Brown and a trade delegation from Oregon wrapped up several days of business meetings in South Korea on Wednesday, focused on expanding Oregon’s agricultural exports, identifying opportunities for Oregon companies collaborate with partners in South Korea and build relationships with Korean government leaders.
The governor was joined by Oregon leaders representing agriculture, tourism, higher education, apparel, technology and manufacturing.
“South Korea presents many incredible opportunities for Oregon businesses, and it’s absolutely critical that we continue to build relationships and engage with our partners in South Korea to maximize those opportunities,” Brown said. . “There is enormous potential, both for reaching Korean customers with Oregon products and for attracting Korean investment, trade and tourism to Oregon. And, with direct flights to Incheon from Portland International Airport which are expected to resume in 2023, I look forward to continuing to expand trade with Korea in the months ahead.
South Korea is Oregon’s fourth largest export market. Oregon had the seventh-fastest export growth in the United States over the past five years and was one of six states to see positive export growth during the COVID-19 pandemic.
While in South Korea, the governor met with US Ambassador Philip Goldberg, as well as Deputy Prime Minister Choo Kyung-ho and Commerce Minister Ahn Dukgeun. She also participated in a roundtable on foreign investment with representatives of major Korean companies, including Samsung; as well as semiconductor companies (Seoul Semiconductor, Jusung Engineering, KoMiCo Ltd., Exicon Co., Ltd.); industrial companies (PPI Pipe, Korea Non-Ferrous Metals Co., Ltd.); global logistics companies (LX Pantos, DongKwang Corporation); and outdoor clothing companies (Youngone Corporation).
While in Korea, the Governor and members of the trade delegation met with Coupang, an e-commerce company that specializes in quickly distributing products to Korean customers, including Oregon Blueberries, and discussed the possibility to expand the company’s distribution of Oregon products. .
Additionally, the governor and representatives from Business Oregon and the Oregon Department of Agriculture met with senior executives from Shinsegae, the company that owns the New Seasons Market grocery chain, to discuss opportunities to expand their investments in Oregon.
The Governor and Portland Port officials also met with President Yoo of SM Line. In 2019, following the Governor’s trade mission to South Korea that year, SM Line announced the return of weekly container service to Portland, a particularly vital partnership for Oregon’s agricultural industry.
The governor and representatives from the University of Oregon also met with President Chung of Korea University to discuss ongoing educational partnerships between the two universities and their students. And, she participated in a press briefing with Travel Oregon CEO Todd Davidson with Korean media to discuss tourism opportunities in Oregon.
In the coming days, the delegation will continue with meetings in Tokyo and Toyama, Japan.