6/24/2015 10:14:43 AM
Amy Hyun, correspondent for the Korea Times based in Chicago, is attracted to stories about the U.S. economy and connections between Minnesota and Korea. Soichi Inai, U.S. correspondent for the Japanese newspaper Nikkei, and Kenichiro Miyaki, U.S. correspondent for the Japanese wire service Jiji Press, are looking for the Minnesota-Japan connection.
The three are among a group of foreign journalists in Minnesota -- today they're visiting the Zenith City of Duluth -- for a first-ever press visit sponsored by DEED and the Minnesota Trade Office. The goal of the visit is to introduce them to Minnesota and its economy.
Officials hope the journalists will return home after the four-day visit to write stories about major economic development projects and industries in Minnesota.
Today the group will visit Cirrus Aircraft, single-engine aircraft manufacturer, and tour the Duluth Seaway Port Authority.
The Port of Duluth/Superior ranks among the top 20 ports in the U.S. by cargo, handling an average of 42 million short tons and more than 1,000 vessels each year. Commodities shipped through Duluth/Superior include coal, iron ore, grains, limestone, cement, wood pulp and heavy equipment. The Port of Duluth /Superior was voted the top port in Top Ten Ports by the Railway Industrial Clearance Association in 2011.
Both Japan and South Korea are important trading partners for the state of Minnesota.
Minnesota exports to both Japan and Korea were up 14 percent in 2014 from the previous year. Japan was a growth market for medical/surgical instruments, optic fiber and other optical/checking instruments, plastic products, meat, and food by-products. Korea was a growth market for optic fiber and other optical/checking instruments, plastic products, and meat.
The MTO now has a Foreign Direct Investment -- FDI -- program led by Laurence Reszetar, and a trade office in Seoul, South Korea opened in 2014. That office will direct 40 percent of their efforts on export promotion and 60 percent on foreign direct investment attraction. South Korean companies had worldwide foreign direct investment of $23.2 billion in 2012. The country tends to invest in renewable energy, mining, agriculture, and food production and processing - all areas of strength in Minnesota.
The visits by these journalists -- along with trade missions and other initiatives - signals DEED's strategy to introduce Minnesota to the world and help build exports and foreign direct investment.