Otter’s Idaho-Asia trade mission report card: We did good!

Idaho Gov. Butch Otter says sales numbers aren’t yet available but “significant progress” was made on his trade mission to South Korea, Taiwan and Vietnam.

Among the successes was a memorandum of understanding signed by Department of Commerce Director Jeff Sayer and including the Taiwan Industrial Development Bureau, Idaho Department of Commerce, Center for Advanced Energy Studies in Idaho Falls, Hailey-based Power Engineers and Boise-based U.S. Geothermal.

In a news release Wednesday, Otter also noted his receiving the “Friend of the Foreign Service Medal” from the Taiwan Ministry of Foreign Affairs and offered a list of highlights from participants in the mission. Otter left April 19 and was away for eight days.

Otter’s news release follows:

 

GOVERNOR REPORTS SUCCESS, PROGRESS FROM ASIA TRADE MISSION

 

(BOISE) – On the heels of his trade mission to Seoul, South Korea; Taipei, Taiwan; and Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter today reported preliminary results achieved by the 18 Idaho companies participating with the trade delegation to Asia.

 

The Governor led a variety of high-level meetings with government and corporate officials during the six-day mission to help achieve the goals of the Idaho companies involved.  Specific information about sales was not immediately available, but significant progress included a meeting with the Taiwan Minister of Economic Affairs to discuss cooperation in research and development of geothermal energy.  The partnership was formalized with Idaho Commerce Director Jeff Sayer signing a memorandum of understanding between the Taiwan Industrial Development Bureau, the Idaho Department of Commerce, the Center for Advanced Energy Studies (CAES) in Idaho Falls, Hailey-based Power Engineers and Boise-based U.S. Geothermal.

 

In Taiwan, the Governor also received the prestigious “Friend of the Foreign Service Medal” from the Taiwan Ministry of Foreign Affairs.  The honor was tied directly to Idaho’s support for business, legislative and educational exchanges between Idaho and Taiwan for more than 25 years.

 

Other noteworthy accomplishments from the 2013 Asia trade mission include:

 

  • Camille Beckman – In Vietnam, Governor Otter teamed with Roshan and Susan Roghani of Eagle-based Camille Beckman to present a charitable donation to a Vietnamese school.  Camille Beckman employs a significant number of Vietnamese Americans and has been active in supporting charitable efforts in the country.

 

  • Dynamite Marketing – Jos Zamzow, chief operating officer of the Meridian-based animal and pet specialty products company, said “Dynamite Marketing was able to strengthen relationships with existing customers, develop new contacts, and forge new friendships as a result of the Governor’s trade mission.” Dynamite expects a 10-percent increase in sales from existing customers and expects huge new business potential from new contacts made on the mission.

 

  • Idaho Eastern Oregon Onion Committee – As a result of meetings on the trade mission, two fresh produce importers in Taipei, Taiwan now plan to import onions from the Idaho-Eastern Oregon region this fall.

 

  • Idaho Wheat Commission – On the mission, the Governor was able to promote Idaho’s wheat industry as the market leader, further strengthening Idaho’s export sales to both Korea and Taiwan.  Commissioner Ned Mood said, “Anytime we can meet face-to-face with our end users, it strengthens the relationship with the end user.”

 

  • Idaho Potato Commission – Korea and Vietnam are relatively new markets and the Idaho Potato Commission was able to identify the opportunities that exist by segment – i.e. fresh, frozen, dehydrated – which will enable the Potato Commission to prioritize initiatives, create a strategy and follow up as appropriate in each market.

 

  • Melaleuca – Governor Otter visited the Taiwan headquarters for Idaho Falls-based Melaleuca and presented a charitable donation on behalf of the company. Taiwan is Melaleuca’s largest international market with annual sales of more than $220 million.

 

  • Western U.S. Agriculture Trade Association – Governor Otter and Executive Chef Rod Jessick of the Coeur d’Alene Resort conducted a chef demonstration of Idaho and Western U.S. products to kick-off the “Taste of America” menu promotion at the prestigious Grand Hyatt in Taipei. The Grand Hyatt, along with the Grand Hi-Lai hotel in Kaohsiung, Taiwan, featured five Idaho companies’ products – Idaho beef, pork, cheese, tortillas, wine, and vodka – including in a month-long menu promotion at several hotel restaurant locations.  Chef Rod traveled to Taiwan to train the hotel staff on Western cooking styles and methods and conducted demonstrations at press events in Taipei and Kaohsiung. About three dozen print and online media representatives attended the press events.

Over the coming weeks and months, additional deals are expected to be signed between Idaho trade mission participants and customers in these three key export markets.

Dan Popkey came to Idaho in 1984 to work as a police reporter. Since 1987, he has covered politics and has reported on 25 sessions of the Legislature. Dan has a bachelor's in political science from Santa Clara University and a master's in journalism from Columbia University. He was a Congressional Fellow of the American Political Science Association and a Journalism Fellow at the University of Michigan. A former page in the U.S. House of Representatives, he graduated Capitol Page High School in 1976. In 2007, he led the Statesman’s coverage of the Sen. Larry Craig sex scandal, which was one of three Pulitzer Prize finalists in breaking news. In 2003, he won the Ted M. Natt First Amendment award from the Pacific Northwest Newspaper Association for coverage of University Place, the University of Idaho’s troubled real estate development in Boise. Dan helped start the community reading project "Big Read." He has two children in college and lives on the Boise Bench with an old gray cat.

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