Governor Branstad says one of the business contacts he made during his trade mission to the far east could yield results soon. Branstad visited Japan, China and South Korea, and he expects one of the companies he visited in South Korea to make a decision about an expansion into Iowa within “the next few months.”
“Another one is already basically partnering with the pork processing plant up in northwest Iowa to import pork from Iowa,” Branstad says. “Of course, the free trade agreement could dramatically improve pork exports to Korea and we’re very hopeful that will happen here in the not too distant future at the federal level.”
Branstad returned from his 11-day trip yesterday. The governor says the highlight was his nearly hour-long meeting with the vice president of China who visited Iowa in 1985 as part of a sister-state exchange.
“What I found just truly amazing was it really made quite an impression on him. He still had the itinerary from his visit here,” Branstad says. “…He mentioned the family from the Muscatine area that he stayed with…He was really pleased with the friendship and, also, just the hospitality and the way he was treated in Iowa.”
China’s vice president is in line to be the next president of China. Branstad is inviting him to pay a return visit to Iowa within the next year. Branstad not only spoke with government officials and business executives while he was overseas, he attended the Midwest U.S./Japan Association’s annual meeting.
“You come to a realization after you’ve been there that we are truly in a world economy and we have a lot of jobs in Iowa that are dependent on not only our agricultural exports, but we’re also appreciative of the manufacturing jobs in Iowa because of investments made from places like Korea and China and especially Japan,” Branstad says.
The governor says a major news story he saw in Japan this past week involved an Iowa company. A major airline in Japan was the first to purchase the new 787 aircraft. Components of the plane are made in Iowa by Rockwell Collins.