Governor Plans Far East Trade Missionby News Sources
KTVZ, May 3, 2006
PORTLAND -- Standing on the Port of Portland's Terminal 6, where a giant new "Post-Panamax" crane awaits off-loading, Gov. Ted Kulongoski announced Wednesday that he will lead a trade mission to Japan and South Korea late next month, where he will strive to raise Oregon's profile as an international center of innovation in a broad range of industry "clusters," including high technology, open-source software, nanotechnology, sustainable technologies, and agriculture.
The trade mission will begin on June 24 and wrap up on July 1, the governor said.
"Oregon is a trading state," Kulongoski said. "More than 50,000 Oregon jobs rely on the Columbia River traffic alone. Our mission to Japan and South Korea will be an important step in promoting Oregon exports and attracting direct foreign investment in Oregon."
In addition to focusing on those groups of industries with the highest potential for export, the state has begun restructuring state agencies to do a better job of promoting exports and attracting investment from overseas, the Governor said.
The governor also intends to use the mission to highlight Oregon as a destination for Japanese and South Korean tourists, he said.
"I want to use this trade mission to make sure we use this wonderful new piece of machinery to the very maximum," the governor said before participating in a tour of the ship and getting a close look at the 16-story tall crane. Acting-Port Director Steve Schreiber explained that the crane will enable the Port to substantially increase its capability to handle containerized cargo, both for import and export.
The governor's trade mission will take advantage of the direct Northwest Airlines flight between Tokyo and Portland, which is a "critical asset to Oregon's economy," the Governor said. The itinerary will include meetings with South Korean and Japanese companies who have shown interest in setting up operations in Oregon.
"Strengthening these relationships will translate into more jobs for Oregonians," the Governor said. "We will also call on companies who have already established operations in Oregon to discuss ways they can expand their commitment to the state."
The trade mission will also go to the Toyama Prefecture in Japan. Oregon has a Sister State relationship with Toyama, and the trade mission will help celebrate the 15th Anniversary of that relationship.
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