Opportunities to expand exports, investment, tourism as unrestricted travel to Korea resumes
Salem, OR—(From Tokyo, Japan) — Governor Kate Brown today finished several days of trade meetings in South Korea, with a focus on expanding Oregon’s agricultural exports, identifying opportunities for Oregon businesses to collaborate with partners in South Korea, and building 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 is absolutely critical that we continue to build relationships and engage with our partners in South Korea to maximize these opportunities,” said Governor Brown. “There is huge potential, both to reach Korean customers with Oregon products, and to attract Korean investment, trade, and tourism in Oregon. And, with direct flights to Incheon from Portland International Airport intended to resume in 2023, I look forward to continuing to expand trade with Korea in the coming months.”
South Korea is Oregon’s fourth largest market for export products. Oregon has seen the seventh fastest export growth in the United States over the past five years, and was one of only six states to see positive export growth during the COVID-19 pandemic.
While in South Korea, the Governor met with U.S. Ambassador Philip Goldberg, as well as with Deputy Prime Minister Choo Kyung-ho and Trade Minister Ahn Dukgeun. She also participated in a foreign investment roundtable with representatives from leading 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 apparel companies (Youngone Corporation).
While in Korea, the Governor and trade delegation members met with Coupang––an e-commerce company that specializes in the rapid distribution of products to customers in Korea, including Oregon blueberries––and discussed the potential 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 top executives from Shinsegae, the company that owns the New Seasons Market grocery chain, to discuss opportunities to expand their investments Oregon.
The Governor and representatives from the Port of Portland 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 partnership particularly vital to 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 media availability 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.
Photos from the Governor’s visit to South Korea are available here.