Midwest U.S.-Japan Association meeting provides platform for expanding relationships
MADISON, WI. Sept. 3, 2015 – A delegation of State representatives including Lt. Governor Rebecca Kleefisch and Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) executives will promote trade and investment opportunities to business leaders in Japan and Taiwan in an eight-day business development mission in September.
“Japan and Taiwan are two important markets in East Asia with a strong history of trade with Wisconsin and tremendous potential for both additional investment in the state and increased business with Wisconsin companies,” said Lt. Governor Kleefisch.
Receiving nearly $900 million worth of Wisconsin goods, Japan was Wisconsin’s 4th largest export destination in 2014. Meanwhile, exports to Taiwan from Wisconsin are trending upward from last year’s total of $181 million.
While in Japan from September 13-15, the Wisconsin delegation will attend the 47th joint meeting of the Midwest U.S.-Japan Association, which includes Japanese corporations that have direct economic ties to the Midwest U.S. or are interested in developing them. The association is chaired by Yuzaburo Mogi, honorary CEO and chairman of the board of Kikkoman Foods, whose North American corporate headquarters is located in Walworth. Lt. Governor Kleefisch will address the conference on September 15.
In addition to attracting new companies to Wisconsin, WEDC’s goals for the mission include solidifying relationships with Japanese and Taiwanese companies already operating here. Currently, 29 Japanese companies and three Taiwanese companies have a presence in the state.
In both locations, the Wisconsin delegation will promote the state as an ideal location for business growth due to its reliable transportation infrastructure, access to markets, talented workforce, educational excellence and renowned research and development leadership.
Wisconsin’s outreach to foreign companies seeking to establish operations in the state focuses on key industry strengths that distinguish the state from other locations, including world-leading capabilities in advanced manufacturing; water technology; bioscience; energy, power and control; food and beverage production; and paper production.
“Wisconsin offers companies in Japan and Taiwan a unique opportunity to establish and grow their North American presence by tapping our historical strengths in agriculture and manufacturing and our expertise in emerging high-tech fields,” said Reed Hall, secretary and CEO of WEDC, the state’s lead economic development agency which organized the mission. “We’re proud that global leaders such as Kikkoman Foods have made Wisconsin their home in North America, and we look forward to deepening our mutually beneficial relationships in the region through this mission.”
About the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation
The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) leads economic development efforts for the state by advancing Wisconsin’s business climate. Together with more than 600 regional and local business development partners, it represents a highly responsive and coordinated network. Visit www.inwisconsin.com or follow WEDC on Twitter @_InWisconsin to learn more.