Medford, OR – According to the state officials, the trade mission is mainly focused on promoting foreign investment and business expansion in Oregon as the two countries reopen fully to tourism, trade, and business travel. The Governor will lead the mission from October 14 – 26, 2022, and will be joined by Oregon leaders representing the agriculture, tourism, higher education, apparel, technology, and manufacturing industries. The Governor will also be visiting Oregon’s sister state in Japan, the Toyama Prefecture.
“While many states are seeking to expand trade opportunities as Asia begins to fully reopen, we know that Oregon’s businesses, products, and tourism opportunities are second to none. Oregon has strong relationships in South Korea and Japan that have been built on decades of trade and the shared values of economic growth, environmental stewardship, and a desire for a better tomorrow,” said Governor Kate Brown. “As we celebrate these partnerships and the successes they’ve brought in growing Oregon’s exports and expanding business development in our state, we are planting the seeds of the future for the next chapter in our economy’s growth.”
Asian trade and tourism are critical drivers of Oregon’s economy and job growth. South Korea is a key and expanding export market for Oregon, and Japan is one of Oregon’s largest foreign investors. South Korea and Japan are Oregon’s fourth and sixth largest markets, respectively, for export goods overall, and two of the top markets for the state’s agricultural exports. Together, they represent 11% of Oregon’s $29.9 billion global export market.
Over the past five years, Oregon ranks seventh in the U.S. for largest export growth, growing significantly at 37%. During the pandemic, Oregon was one of only six states in the country to see positive export growth between 2019 and 2020. Nearly 6,000 Oregon companies export internationally, and 83,000 Oregon jobs are supported by exports. Travel and tourism in Oregon is a $10.9 billion industry that directly employs 100,000 Oregonians and generates $1.2 billion in state and local tax revenue.
As part of the delegation, the Governor is bringing companies representing agriculture, food and beverage, apparel, and technology. Together, these companies will be exploring export opportunities with Korean and Japanese distributors and retailers.
The companies are part of Governor Brown’s delegation of public and private sector leaders, including representatives from Business Oregon, the Oregon Department of Agriculture, Travel Oregon, the University of Oregon, and the Port of Portland.
As part of the trade mission, the Governor will lead several business development meetings, host women’s leadership forums, sit down with government leaders, promote Oregon tourism, and work to strengthen trade. She will also meet with Korean and Japanese government officials and U.S. embassy officials in each destination.