SEOUL, Republic of Korea — Gov. Jay Nixon announced today that his trade mission to the Republic of Korea and the Republic of China (Taiwan) had resulted in agreements to sell a total of $1.9 billion in Missouri goods to Korean and Taiwanese consumers over the next four years.
“More Missouri goods sold to consumers overseas means more good jobs for Missourians back home. That is why we have worked hard from day one to help Missouri businesses and farms export their products in every corner of the globe,” Gov. Nixon said. “These agreements to sell $1.9 billion in Missouri goods to consumers in these two key markets are another testament to the quality of Missouri products, and the effectiveness of our proactive approach.”
In Seoul, Gov. Nixon witnessed the signing of three trade agreements between the Department of Economic Development and trade organizations in the Republic of Korea. The first agreement was with the Korea International Trade Association and the Korea-U.S. Economic Council and is worth $600 million. The second agreement, also valued at $600 million, was with the Korea Importers Association. The administration also signed an agreement with the Korea Small & Medium Business Corporation.
While in Seoul, the Governor met with Minister of Foreign Affairs Yun Byung-se; U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Korea Sung Kim; Vice Governor Bae Yong-tae of Jeollanamdo Province, Missouri’s Sister State in Korea; and the Chairman of the Korea Chamber of Commerce and Industry, KS Sohn. The delegation also met with in-country executives from Monsanto and Boeing. On Thursday, after meeting with the University of Missouri Korean Alumni Chapter, the Governor and First Lady were joined by soldiers of the Missouri National Guard for a wreath-laying ceremony at the Korean War Memorial.
In Taipei, Gov. Nixon’s administration signed agreements with two trade organizations in the Republic of China (Taiwan) to sell $700 million in Missouri goods to Taiwanese consumers over the next four years: a $200 million agreement between the Missouri Department of Agriculture and the Taiwan Feed Industry Association, and a $500 million agreement between the Missouri Department of Economic Development and the Taiwan External Trade Development Council. The Governor also met with high-level government officials as well as importers of Missouri products.
For businesses taking part in the delegation, the mission offered unique opportunities to pursue and close agreements with new customers. For example, St. Louis-based RIBUS Inc., a manufacturer of rice-based natural and organic food ingredients, reached a deal to expand its distribution agreement with its Korean distributor, Ju Yeongns, a food and dietary supplement distributor. Tuesday, it was announced that Garden City-based NeCo Seeds closed deals with two major distributors that will expand the availability of Missouri soy products throughout Taiwan.
“Over the past week we’ve seen firsthand that the high-quality products manufactured and grown in Missouri are in high demand in these key international markets,” Gov. Nixon said. “The agreements closed this week will put even more ‘Made in Missouri’ goods on shelves in Korea and Taiwan, adding value for farmers and creating jobs for workers in the Show-Me State.”
Joining Gov. Nixon on the delegation are: First Lady Georganne Nixon; Jon Hagler, director of the Missouri Department of Agriculture; Chris Pieper, acting director of the Missouri Department of Economic Development; State Sen. Jay Wasson (R-Nixa), Senate Minority Floor Leader Jolie Justus (D-Kansas City), State Rep. Lincoln Hough (R-Springfield), and State Rep. Gail McCann Beatty (D-Kansas City).
In addition to RIBUS Inc. and NeCo Seeds, the delegation included representatives from Monsanto, Cardinal Scale Manufacturing Co., Missouri-Pacific Lumber Co., Missouri Energy Development Association, Energy Saver LED, Diva Maker, the Missouri Corn Growers Association, American Botanicals, the Missouri Soybean Association, Missouri State University, Northwest Missouri State University, the University of Missouri-Kansas City, and the University of Missouri-Columbia.
Gov. Nixon has made creating opportunities for Missouri businesses to sell their products around the globe a top priority. The Governor led successful trade missions to China (October 2011) and Brazil (April 2012), which resulted in agreements to sell $4.6 billion in Missouri goods to Chinese consumers, and the state’s first-ever trade agreement with the State of São Paulo, Brazil’s financial capital. The past two calendar years, 2011 and 2012, were the best on record for export sales by Missouri businesses, with a total of $28 billion in Missouri-made goods sold around the world. To continue this momentum, the Governor’s Fiscal Year 2014 budget calls for $2.3 million in funding to help businesses identify and access new export opportunities and to expand the state’s presence in emerging markets around the world.