FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Oct. 8, 1996
Lowry to reinforce relations in trade
mission to Taiwan and Japan
OLYMPIA -- Building on a successful
business relationship with Asia, Gov. Mike Lowry today announced
he will travel to Taiwan and Japan next week to continue developing
investment, trade and commerce for Washington companies.
"Japan is our top trading partner, and Taiwan ranks fifth
in that category," the governor said. "We must continue
to build commercial links with these partners so that we can bolster
our trade with the Pacific Rim."
The trade and investment mission, scheduled for Oct. 13-19, will
feature an investment seminar for Taiwanese businesses to learn
about opportunities in Washington. Among his other stops will
be meetings with Taiwan's President Li Teng-hui and Premier Lien
Chan, and a meeting with Gov. Kaihara in Kobe, Japan. There, the
governors will tour areas under reconstruction that were destroyed
by earthquake in 1995.
Lowry said international trade is a major component of Washington's
economy. In Washington, one in five jobs depends on trade, and
the state is the highest per capita exporter in the nation. With
only 2 percent of the country's population, Washington handles
8 percent of all United States trade. On the average, jobs related
to international trade pay 17 percent more than others.
"We need to increase the number of small businesses involved
in international trade," Lowry said. "Our Asian trading
partners represent a huge market that is virtually untapped. We
want Washington businesses to be in a position to inform that
market about our high quality products."
Financial experts now paint Taiwan as a wealthy nation with more
than $90 billion to invest, and Washington is beginning to see
the benefit of such investment. Southwest Washington became the
winning contender for the site of Wafertech in Camas with an initial
$1.2 billion investment.
"Companies such as Taiwan Semiconductor continue to tell
me that our commitment to quality education, a high quality of
life for their workforce and an attractive business climate are
what they look for in investment and expansion plans," the
governor said. "Washington has all of those factors, and
we're eager to let our Pacific Rim neighbors know about us. The
president of Taiwan Semiconductor, Don Brooks, is sponsoring our
investment seminar and I appreciate his leadership."
The governor promoted and signed the 1995 and 1996 manufacturing tax incentives program, which significantly improved the state's overall business climate and spurred new corporate investment in Washington. Between June 1995 and March 1996, companies have announced plans to invest more than $3 billion and generate more than 8,000 new jobs here. Other major projects include:
"These companies realize the benefits of locating and expanding
in Washington," the governor said. "We will spread the
word that our state is another great spot on the West Coast to
The governor will convene the investment seminar in Taipei Oct.
15. The next day he will tour the Hsinchu Science Industrial Park,
a model for high-technology business parks. Lowry then will travel
to Kaohsiung, another Taiwanese port city, for an investment seminar
there Oct. 17. He plans to meet with the Kaohsiung mayor and city
council president to discuss trade issues.
From Kaohsiung, Lowry will travel to Kobe, Japan Oct. 18 where
he and Gov. Kaihara will tour sites under construction by Washington
businesses that are helping to rebuild the city following last
year's earthquake. Washington also has a sister-state relationship
with Hyogo, and Lowry hosted visitors from Hyogo earlier this
Lowry previously visited Taiwan, Japan, China, South Korea and
the Philippines in November 1994.
For more information, contact the Governor's Communications Office
Full schedule for the Asia trade and investment mission