Governor Walker Wraps Up Trade Mission to Japan, South Korea
Governor, Wisconsin delegation meet with 200-plus leaders during trip; agreements signed to forge new partnerships with South Korean companies
Governor Scott Walker and state economic development officials are returning to Wisconsin this weekend after a successful eight-day trade mission to Japan and South Korea.
Governor Walker and officials of the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) engaged with more than 200 leaders from business, government, academia and industry organizations during the trip. The meetings included business roundtables, networking events and one-on-one meetings with specific companies with operations in Wisconsin or those considering expanding in the U.S. In addition, executives from eight companies who were part of the Wisconsin delegation took part in targeted, one-on-one meetings with potential business partners
“This trade mission provided us with an outstanding opportunity to make a strong case for why businesses in Japan and South Korea should consider investing in Wisconsin, and the connections we made during the trip will pay dividends for the state’s economy,” said Governor Walker. “At the same time, the Wisconsin business leaders who joined us reported great success in their efforts to reach new markets and develop partnerships in both countries.”
Governor Walker will be back in Wisconsin on Saturday after visiting with members of the 115th Fighter Wing, a unit of the Wisconsin Air National Guard currently stationed at the Kunsan Air Base along the west coast of South Korea.
The governor led the 22-member delegation that included Mark Hogan, WEDC secretary and CEO, and Katy Sinnott, vice president of International Business Development for WEDC. The mission, which began Sept. 9, was aimed at encouraging continued foreign investment in Wisconsin and helping state companies develop business partnerships.
Highlights of the trip included:
- The Wisconsin-based Mid-West Energy Research Consortium (M-WERC) signed an agreementwith the Daegu-Gyeongbuk Institute of Science and Technology (DGIST), to provide training in Milwaukee to 10 South Korean technology-based start-up companies.
- RPRD Diagnostics, a Wisconsin precision medicine company announced a strategic partnershipwith Orient Bio Inc., a South Korean biotechnology company that will enable RPRD to reach new markets.
- In South Korea, Governor Walker met with Prime Minister Lee Nak-yeon, Minister for Trade Kim Hyun-chon and Seoul Mayor Park Won-soon to discuss current political and economic conditions as well as potential collaborations between Wisconsin and South Korea. In Japan, the Governor Walker and other Midwest governors met with Prime Minister Shinzō Abe and Bill Hagerty, the U.S. ambassador to Japan. The governor also met with Naoki Ito, the Consul General of Japan in Chicago; and Morita Kensaku, the governor of the Chiba Prefecture in Japan, which has been Wisconsin’s “Sister State” since 1990.
- In both countries, Governor Walker and the WEDC hosted three “Opportunity in Wisconsin” events with business leaders, including executives of companies interested in establishing or expanding operations in the U.S.
- Governor Walker gave presentations about Wisconsin’s key business advantages to members of the Korean International Trade Association and the Korea Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
- In Japan, Governor Walker and WEDC leaders held private meetings with leaders of companies with operations in Wisconsin or those considering U.S. expansion, including Fujifilm, a global corporation that provides imaging, information, and document solutions worldwide; and Mitsubishi Electric Corporation, a global manufacturer of electrical and electronic products.
- Governor Walker laid a wreath in honor of Wisconsin troops who gave their lives during the Korean Ward at the Korean War Memorial in Seoul.
Governor Walker will lead a trade mission to Israel from Oct. 27 to Nov. 3 and is encouraging Wisconsin companies interested in reaching new overseas markets to join him on the trip. For details on that trade mission, visit www.inwisconsin.com/israel17.
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Andrew Jones is a partner in the Milwaukee office of Husch Blackwell LLP.