Governor Tom Vilsack leaves tomorrow (Tuesday) on a trade mission to China and South Korea. Vilsack will meet privately with South Korean business owners who’ve invested in Iowa or who might do so in the future. In China, he’ll be visiting the Hebei Province, which is Iowa’s “sister state.” Vilsack says he’ll be asking the officials he meets with to consider buying more Iowa-grown soybeans for processing. “In most of the Asian countries, soy is a very important element of (the) diet,” Vilsack says. On June 1st, Vilsack will speak in Beijing at the “Getting to Know Iowa” investment seminar, then he’ll board a plane to return to the U.S. Vilsack has twice before visited the Far East during his years as governor and on both occasions there were earthquakes in the region. Vilsack does not expect a repeat performance. “I don’t think so. I don’t know. Who knows?” Vilsack says. “We’ll be ready for it whatever it is.” Mike Blouin, the director of the Iowa Department of Economic Development, will be along on the trip. Others on the trade trip includes University of Northern Iowa officials as well as business representatives from Arts-Way Manufacturing, an Armstrong, Iowa, firm that makes ag equipment and CIVCO Medical Instruments, a Kalona company that markets medical instruments. Two firms based outside of Iowa are on the mission, too. Nelson Dairy Consultants is a Minnesota firm headed by an Iowa State University graduate and Pharmacom is a medical technology business with interests in Europe, Asia and the U.S.
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