TOKYO, JAPAN -- Governor Kate Brown wrapped up a nearly two-week trade mission to Asia Tuesday. She says shoring up international relationships is critical to Oregon’s economic development as it recovers from the pandemic. "Asia is a particularly strong market for us, particularly in the semiconductor industry and the agricultural industry," Brown told reporters Tuesday, "So, we thought it was important, given that Korea and Japan are just opening up now. Literally, Japan just opened up two weeks ago."
Brown says South Korea is Oregon’s third largest export market for food and agricultural products, "This is a highly concentrated population with a very large spending power." The Governor says no country buys more Oregon blueberries and she believes there’s room to increase ag exports, "Oregon blueberries are already popular and we spoke with Korean leaders about allowing the import of both Oregon blackberries and raspberries, as well."
In Japan, Brown says she talked with tech companies about investing in Oregon’s semiconductor sector, "When our semiconductor industry is doing well, the Japanese businesses that are engaged in this sector also benefit."
Despite having just two months left in office, Brown says the trip was important for a state that ranks among the most trade-dependent in the nation, "Oregon’s strong trade relationship with both Korea and Japan has contributed to Oregon seeing the fifth fastest export growth in the United States over the past five years. We were only one of six states to see positive export growth during the pandemic."
Her office says she also promoted tourism, wine and beer with representatives from Travel Oregon and others.