Office of the Lieutenant Governor of Iowa

Lieutenant Governor Reynolds

Gov. Branstad to lead trade mission to China, South Korea and Japan

September 12, 2011

Gov. Terry E. Branstad today announced plans for the administration’s second trade mission this year, following up on the successful trade mission led by Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds in June.

Following are their remarks in today’s news conference, as prepared for delivery:

Lt. Gov. Reynolds:

Good morning.

Today, the Governor and I would like to discuss the importance of Iowa’s international trade partnerships.

To help improve Iowa’s economy, we feel it is imperative for Iowa to renew its relationships and commitments to international trade. 

Last June, I had the honor of representing Iowa and promoting our state through a trade promotion trip to South Korea and China.

The focus of our trip was to   promote Iowa and build relationships with our trading partners.

During the trip, we visited Seoul, South Korea.

And, as the world’s second largest economy, and one of Iowa’s top trading partners, we also spent time in China and visited the cities of Beijing, Shijiazhuang, Shenyang, and Harbin.

The agenda for the trip was very full, as we made the most of our time in each city to promote the state and investment opportunities. 

Some of the main components in this promotion trip were hosting industry focused meetings to promote Iowa’s agriculture assets.

We also visited with government officials, attended the Harbin International Economic and Trade Fair and recognized Iowa’s longstanding sister state relationship with Shijiazhuang, China.

Lastly, we visited international investments made by Iowa companies aboard through tours of Vermeer’s facility in Beijing and Pioneer’s research facility in Tieling.

This was my first trip to both South Korea and China and I was impressed by the unprecedented growth and development of their infrastructure and economy. 

History has shown that there is potential to expand upon Iowa’s current trading partnerships in Asia, and especially China. 

According to the U.S. China Business Council, Iowa exports to China have grown by 1,293% from 2000 to 2010. 

And, among those top exports were crop production, machinery and processed food from Iowa companies. 

This trip helped to build upon these strong export relationships to grow Iowa’s global partnerships abroad.

We went to continue to build strong relationships with our trading partners for the betterment of our state.

With that, I will now hand it over to Governor Branstad.

Gov. Branstad:

Thank you Lt. Governor Reynolds.

This week, I will be traveling to South Korea, China and Japan in an effort to encourage trade and investment in Iowa.

Lt. Governor Kim Reynolds’ trip was very successful and I wish to follow up on some of her success. 

At this time, I can officially announce my meeting with Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping.

I first met Vice President Xi years ago when he visited Iowa as part of our Sister States Program as part of the Hebei Province delegation.

Maintaining and building the friendship and partnership between China and Iowa is important for our economic growth. 

However, before traveling to Beijing, I will first visit Seoul, South Korea where I will meet to continue our efforts in support of the US – South Korean Free Trade Agreement.

Additionally, I will meet with South Korean companies interested in creating jobs in Iowa. 

From Seoul, I will travel to Beijing, China for my meeting with Vice President Xi. 

While in Beijing I will also meet with the officials from the Chinese Securities, Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commissions where I will discuss the success and stability of Iowa securities, banking and insurance industries.

From Beijing, I will travel to Shenyang and Harbin.

In both cities I will visit both Chinese companies with investments in Iowa, seeking investment in Iowa and Iowa companies invested there. 

From China I will travel to Tokyo, Japan where I will take part in the 43rd Annual Joint Meeting of the Midwest U.S. – Japan.

The meeting, which is also being attended by Governor Snyder from Michigan and Governor Quinn from Illinois, will focus on innovation in a changing global economy.

There I will again meet with Governor Yokouchi who is Governor of the Yamanashi Prefecture, our Japanese Sister State.

I will also meet with Japanese Companies who could potentially invest in Iowa and companies who seek greater trade with Iowa companies. 

Lt. Governor Kim Reynolds and I set bold economic goals of 200,000 new jobs and increasing family incomes 25% in Iowa.

I realize that Iowa is no longer simply competing against states like Illinois, Wisconsin and Indiana for trade, jobs and investment, but that we now exist and compete in a world economy.

This trade and investment mission will help develop Iowa exports and work to create jobs and increase incomes here in Iowa.

Thank you and at this time we will take your questions.