Gov. Jay Nixon announced a delegation of Missouri businesses, commodity groups and higher education institutions will travel to South Korea and the Republic of China (Taiwan) from March 15-22. A primary goal of the mission will be the signing of several agreements between the state of Missouri and trade organizations in South Korea and Taiwan. Missouri businesses are also expected to negotiate contracts with customers in South Korea and Taiwan during the trade mission.
Selling Missouri goods is key to creating Missouri jobs
"Selling more Missouri-made goods around the globe creates more good jobs for Missourians here at home," Gov. Nixon said. "Missouri businesses recently set all-time records for exports, and our unemployment rate stands at a four-year low. This trade mission will help build on this momentum by identifying new opportunities to sell even more Missouri-made and Missouri-grown goods in these key and growing markets."
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 during those two years. South Korea, Missouri's fourth largest trading partner, bought more than $709 million worth of Missouri goods in 2012, an increase of more than 16 percent over 2011. Missouri exports to Taiwan, the state's 24th largest trading partner, continue to be strong, with more than $98 million in 2012, and Taiwan continues to be a huge consumer of Missouri agricultural products and commodities.
Joining Gov. Nixon on the delegation will be: 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).
The delegation will include representatives of Missouri businesses, commodity groups and higher education institutions, including Monsanto, RIBUS Inc., 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, NeCo Seeds, Missouri State University, Northwest Missouri State University, the University of Missouri-Kansas City, and the University of Missouri-Columbia.