Utah Governor Gary Herbert was warmly received by Taiwan President Tsai Ing-Wen on September 20th, joining an underway trade mission designed to strengthen trade ties and attract additional foreign investment to the Beehive State. The governor joined a trade mission comprised of 26 Utah organizations arranged by the Governor’s Office of Economic Development, World Trade Center Utah, and the Utah Governor’s Office. While the trade mission began on September 17th in South Korea, Governor Herbert was unable to participate due to wildfires in Utah County. Utah’s trade mission reflects the national trend of increased relations with Taiwan.
Taiwan is Utah’s sixth largest trading partner in the world, with exports valued at $636 million in 2017. In 2016 these exports supported nearly 3,500 jobs in Utah. Noting the innovative approach that Utah has in attracting investment, their current economic exchanges and looked forward to finding mutually beneficial opportunities for growth. Additionally, Utah companies from the trade mission were a part of the Taipei International Cycle Show.
Further opportunities for growth in the trade relationship were revealed shortly after the end of the trade mission. On September 25th in remarks at the World Taiwanese Chambers of Commerce, American Institute in Taiwan Director Bret Christensen, a Utah native, announced that a delegation of Taiwanese companies will be escorted by the AIT to attend this year’s Discover Global Markets event hosted in Salt Lake City, Utah from December 10-12. The DGM provides a venue for US exporters and foreign buyers to connect and exchange opportunities. Taiwanese participation in the premier annual event run by the U.S. Department of Commerce will focus on Aerospace, Defense, and Advanced Manufacturing.