CHEYENNE, Wyo. – Governor Matt Mead has completed a successful trade mission to Taiwan, where he opened the Wyoming – Asia Pacific Trade Office. The goal is to establish and grow trade between Wyoming and Taiwan in agriculture, manufactured goods, minerals and tourism. He was joined by a number of Wyoming legislators, agriculture producers and state leaders. The process of establishing this office and naming a trade representative was outlined during the 2018 Legislative session.
The Wyoming delegation’s activities included dinner at one of Taiwan’s top restaurants, which served Wyoming beef. The export of Wyoming beef to Taiwan is one of the goals of the trade effort.
“This was my third trip to Taiwan, and I’ve learned that people in Taiwan and the Asian Pacific region in general, love Wyoming,” said Governor Matt Mead. “They like the products that come from our state and admire Wyoming’s culture. Opening a trade office there will provide Wyoming companies many opportunities to grow in international markets starting with Taiwan and expanding into other Asian countries.”
Wyoming agricultural companies were present in Taiwan to explore market opportunities. This included: Murraymere Farms and GF Harvest both of Powell; True Ranches of Casper; and Wyoming Malting Company of Pine Bluffs. Representatives from these companies visited wholesalers, grocers, import companies, meat processors and restaurants during their four-day trade mission. This was funded by the Wyoming Business Council and the State Trade and Export Promotion (STEP) program, a federal initiative to increase United States exports.
The Wyoming delegation also included President of the Senate, Eli Bebout, Senator Ogden Driskill, Representatives David Miller and Bob Nicholas, Wyoming Business Council CEO, Shawn Reese, Director of the Wyoming Department of Agriculture, Doug Miyamoto, Executive Vice President of the Wyoming Stock Growers Association, Jim Magagna and Business Development Assistant Director for the Wyoming Business Council, Brandon Marshall.
After a competitive process, the Wyoming Business Council (WBC) selected Chester Chu as Wyoming’s international trade representative. He helped initiate the meetings and events as part of his role in helping Wyoming companies establish a presence in Asian markets.
Chu is tasked with establishing and building relationships between Asian buyers and distributors and Wyoming businesses, assisting Wyoming exporters traveling to Asia and attending trade industry events. He will also educate Wyoming businesses on exporting to Taiwan and identify market demand that Wyoming can fulfill.
“The Business Council is working to increase Wyoming’s prosperity by helping establish international markets for our established commodities like coal and soda ash, but also food and manufactured goods,” Business Council CEO Shawn Reese said. “Besides new markets, there are many opportunities in Taiwan to increase technology, research and development, and educational exchanges. Taiwan is a focal point for the rapidly growing Asian market that wants the kinds of products and ideas Wyoming businesses can provide.”
During the trip, Governor Mead also had the opportunity to visit Cheyenne’s sister city, Taichung City and attended several meetings and events between the Taiwanese and Wyoming’s delegation. For the attendees not part of the STEP program, most of the trip expenses were funded by the Taiwan Ministry of Foreign Affairs.