GSI President and CEO Steve Stevens met with Consul General Moon as well as Vice Consul Lee Soo-won to discuss furthering trade relations between the Spokane region and South Korea. Discussed at length were our respective aerospace clusters. Korea has a proud aerospace tradition and is home to such companies as Korean Aerospace Industries and Korean Air Aerospace Division.
Spokane’s growing healthcare industry and healthcare needs, and the possible links with South Korea’s, was also a topic of conversation. Spokane’s Sister City, Jecheon, is a major medicinal herb producer and known for its traditional medicine. Additionally, South Korea has a focus on developing students within STEM disciplines and seeks to have an increase in South Korean students pursuing STEM education in Washington.
A discussion of Spokane region business wouldn’t be complete without agriculture. South Korea is one of the top 5 markets for Washington agriculture products (the others being Japan, China, Canada and Taiwan). With our regions production of high quality commodities, this appetite is only expected to grow. The suggestion of a Spokane delegation (especially those in the beer and wine industries) attending next year’s International Food Industry Exhibition in Seoul was made by Consul General Moon.
South Korea is a vital trading partner of Washington – fifth largest export partner and sixth largest import partner. GSI seeks to not only maintain this strong relationship between the Spokane region and South Korea, but to grow it. Potential matchmaking opportunities and trade missions will continue to be pursued in the hopes of opening new opportunities for local businesses.