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Office of Governor Gary Locke
Contact:  Governor's Communications Office, 360-902-4136

Gov. Locke thanks Taiwan delegation for large purchase of Washington wheat

OLYMPIA – Gov. Gary Locke today met with a delegation from Taiwan and expressed his appreciation for the Taiwan Flour Millers Association purchase of $264 million worth of U.S. wheat, most of which is produced in the Pacific Northwest.

“This is a win-win for the people of Washington and Taiwan,” the governor said. “We’re proud of our excellent relationship with Taiwan and appreciate the Taiwan Flour Millers Association’s significant purchases of our state’s wheat.”

The Taiwan Flour Millers Association has agreed to purchase 1.7 million metric tons of U.S. wheat, which will be milled into flour to make a wide variety of products including noodles, steamed breads and other baked goods in Taiwan. In 2001, Taiwan purchased $149 million of wheat from the Northwest states. Taiwan is Washington’s third largest export market for food and agricultural products.

“Washington wheat is the best in the world,” Locke added. “As are our potatoes, onions, apples, cherries, wine and seafood. We are thankful to include Taiwan as a major customer for the fine products of our state.”

Locke met with Sunny Sun, director of the Taiwan Flour Millers Association and leader of the Taiwan delegation, and welcomed his delegation to Washington. The delegation included Fu-chin Hung and Hsim-hong Kuo, directors of the association, Chia-sheng Pan, director general of the Taiwan Grain and Feed Development Foundation, K.H. Lu, country director of the U.S. Wheat Associates Taiwan office, Linda Wen-hwa Wang, executive assistant to the mission, Jack K.C. Chiang, director general of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Seattle, and Andrew Yang, senior assistant to the director general.

“It was a great honor for our delegation to meet with Governor Locke this morning,” said Sun. “We very much appreciate the governor's time and interest in our visit. Our meeting and our purchase of Washington wheat are very helpful in strengthening the great relationship between Taiwan and Washington state.”

Bill Brookreson and Eric Hurlburt of the state Department of Agriculture, Cliff Barbre of the Washington Wheat Commission and Brent Heinemann of the Governor’s Office of International Relations and Protocol also participated in this morning’s meeting.

“This relationship means a great deal to the growers of our state,” said Barbre. “Washington wheat growers are very appreciative of their relationship with the Taiwan Flour Millers Association. We pride ourselves in making a quality product and strive to continue our use of technological innovations to make our farmers more efficient and competitive.”

Washington posted nearly $35 billion in exports in 2001, with one of every three jobs in the state related to international trade.
Related Links:
- Washington State Department of Agriculture

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