Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Lt. Governor Owen leading trade, cultural and friendship mission to Shantou

Lt. Governor Brad Owen leaves early Thursday for Shantou, joining a group of Seattle area business leaders seeking to invite more trade with the city as part of the “Washington State Day in Shantou” event this weekend in the southeastern China city.
Miss Washington Kailee Dunn
is one of the delegates on the mission to Shantou

A number of Washington educators are also joining the Owen-led delegation, including state schools Superintendent Randy Dorn, who is incorporating the stop in Shantou as part of a longer mission. Miss Washington Kailee Dunn, who was invited to attend by the Washington State Day in Shantou Committee, also will be along.

Lt. Governor Owen will join Shantou Mayor Zhen Renhao in giving opening remarks, along with Tan Tho Tien, president of the Seattle-Shantou Chamber of Commerce and Paul Baldwin, chief of the outreach unit of the U.S. Consulate in Shantou.

The lieutenant governor will also make a presentation highlighting several reasons to invest in Washington, followed by a presentation by Bill Stafford, past president of the Trade Development Alliance of Greater Seattle.
Dunn, a native of the Tri-Cities area and graduate of Eastern Washington University, will provide a detailed overview of Washington state agricultural products as part of her presentation on the second day of the event. She has also agreed to share her experiences on this blog, so watch for updates!

Alan Burke, executive director of the Washington State School Directors Association will give an overview of Washington state education. Other presentations will focus on real estate investment and tourism. Exhibits showcasing Washington products and services will also be on display.

“This mission continues our state’s efforts to build stronger business, friendship and cultural ties with the Pacific Rim,” said Owen. As with his past missions, the lieutenant governor’s expenses are being covered by the Seattle-based Washington State Day in Shantou Committee.

Located on the eastern coast of the Guangdong Province, Shantou is one of five so-called Special Economic Zones in China with more free-market oriented economic policies to encourage global trade. The city covers an area of 2,064 square kilometers (798 square miles) and has a resident population of about 5.5 million.

Washington State Day in Shantou is the third of a series of “Washington State Day” events organized in China to promote state exports. The earlier two were in 2005 and 2011, both in Yangzhou. The term “Washington State Day” was first coined by Jeffrey Pang, former chair of the Kent-Yangzhou Sister City Committee. Pang co-organized this week’s mission with Seattle area business woman May Wan.

Tours of schools and Shantou University are also on tap for the delegation on their final day in the city as the lieutenant governor always makes a point of visiting schools during his overseas missions.


Delegate list
Mission itinerary
Photo of Lt. Governor Owen

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Lt Governor Owen to lead trade and cultural mission to Taiwan

Update (July 8, 2014): We've posted a few photos from this mission on SlickPic 

Lt. Governor Brad Owen will leave Saturday on a week-long trade and cultural mission to Taiwan, a mission that will include the signing of a reciprocal driver license agreement, the promotion of Washington state seafood and agricultural products, meetings with government officials and a ceremony to honor a Washington state woman who has spent her entire adult life helping the Taiwanese people.

The lieutenant governor is leading a delegation of elected officials and representatives from the Puyallup Tribe of Indians, leaving Saturday, June 21 and returning Friday, June 27. They are going as guests of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Seattle (TECO) and the Taiwanese government. Besides the lieutenant governor, the delegation includes four state senators, a member of the House of Representatives and three council members from the Puyallup Tribe of Indians.

“This will be an incredible opportunity to develop some new relationships with Taiwan and to further promote business and cultural ties with our island friends,” Owen said.

One of the delegation’s first official orders of business is to take part in a signing ceremony between the Washington Department of Licensing and Taiwan’s Ministry of Transportation and Communications in Taipei. The agreement will allow Taiwan nationals who live in Washington, such as university students, to skip the driving and written portion of the state driver licensing exam if they are already licensed to drive in Taiwan and give the same option for Washington residents living in Taiwan. Washington will be the eighth state to sign such an agreement, and has similar agreements with British Columbia, Korea and Germany. While no state DOL officials will be present, the agreement will bear the signature of Director Pat Kohler and that of Lt. Gov. Owen, who will sign as a witness.

Council members from the Puyallup Tribe of Indians are joining the delegation to introduce their line of seafood products to the Taiwanese, such as smoked salmon and geoduck. This will include a tour of the U.S. Pavilion at the Food Taipei 2014 trade show promoting Washington state agricultural products, and providing smoked salmon samples for a private reception hosted by a prominent Taiwanese seafood dealer. In addition, the delegation will call on the Council of Indigenous Peoples, which serves as a coordinating authority for members of native Taiwanese tribes.

Another stop will be at the Overseas Radio and Television studio, which was founded in 1962 by Washington state native Doris Brougham. Owen will speak at a ceremony honoring Brougham, who grew up in the Seattle area and studied at the University of Washington then moved to China in 1948 as a missionary after receiving her degree. Fluent in Mandarin, Brougham has lived in Taiwan since 1951, teaching English language to thousands of Taiwanese students through the many programs she has initiated along the way. The state Senate passed a resolution honoring Brougham in 2013.

The lieutenant governor will tour the Brain Treatment Center in Taipei, a leading neuropsychiatric center dealing with full spectrum of mental disorders and substance abuse.

The delegation will also be see some interesting sites – including a trip by high-speed bullet train to Taiwan’s second largest city, Kaohsiung, where they will tour a company that builds super yachts, take a harbor tour and visit several government offices. Kaohsiung has a sister city relationship with the City of Seattle. The delegation will meet with the mayor of Kaohsiung, and visit the National Sun Yat-sen University of Maritime Affairs, which is sending a group of students to Seattle in September.

TECO Deputy Director General Richard Lin, who is coordinating the mission in association with the lieutenant governor’s office, said: “Legislators will have an opportunity to see Taiwan first-hand. Through missions such as this one our intent is to develop a deeper relationship between Taiwan and Washington state.”

Friday, May 16, 2014

Lt. Governor Owen is on a short visit Shanghai this week to speak to a Chinese business group about Washington investment opportunites.

The lieutenant governor is traveling as a guest of the Shanghai Jiajing Consulting Co., an affiliate of PathAmerica, an Everett-based foreign investment company with a number of mixed-use real estate projects in the Puget Sound region. About 100 Chinese business leaders were expected to hear his speech.

The lieutenant governor is focusing his remarks on opportunities that fall under the federal government’s EB-5 immigrant investment program, including Path America’s mixed-use Potala Tower Project currently nearing completion in downtown Seattle. He will also talk in general about the advantages of doing business in Washington due to its major sectors in technology, aerospace, agriculture, manufacturing and other industries, its current popularity with venture capitalists, the state’s proximity to Asia and its high quality of life.

He was scheduled to be interviewed about his visit by a television station in Shanghai. Owen left May 15 and returns to Washington on May 18.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Lt. Governor promotes Washington wine, meets with business leaders during trade mission to Hong Kong

Lt. Governor Owen, left, chats with Erich Kuss, director of the
U.S. Department of Agriculture's trade office in Hong Kong,
(Photo courtesy of Andy Yip)
Lt. Governor Owen is in Hong Kong on a trade mission this week with the Hong Kong Association of Washington and representatives from eight Washington wineries.
He is attending a series of meetings to help promote Washington wine, which is increasingly in demand throughout Hong Kong and China, and is the lead speaker at a Washington wine news conference.
While the mission is focused on wine promotion, the lieutenant governor is conducting other business on behalf of the state while there too. He has a series of meetings with business leaders and government officials from Hong Kong and the U.S. to discuss bilateral trade, including a session with Simon Galpin, the director general of investment promotion for InvestHK and with Tom Cooney, deputy U.S. consul general for Hong Kong and Macau.
He will tour the Hong Kong Science and Technology Park and visit the Aviation Services Research Centre at Hong Kong Polytechnic University, which operates in partnership with the Boeing Company. He is also meeting privately with officials with the Hong Kong Trade Development Council to “brainstorm” new trade opportunities. The lieutenant governor is traveling as a guest of the Hong Kong Association of Washington.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Mission report now online

An extensive report detailing the lieutenant governor and his delegations' activities and accomplishment on their 2011 mission to Spain is now available for download, along with an introductory letter from Lt. Governor Owen.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Reception for Spanish students who attended summer camp in Seattle

A reception in honor of 60 Spanish students who attended in the "International Village" camp in Seattle in 2009, 2010 and 2011 included Lt. Governor Owen and his delegation and Juan Jose Mateo, the minister of education for Castilla y Leon.

You may read more about this meeting in the Spanish journal

English (web-translated) and Spanish.

Lt. Governor part of wine school exchange signing ceremony

Lt. Governor Owen and delegation continued their mission this week with a stop in the historic city of Valladolid, where the lieutenant governor took part in the signing of an agreement between Northwest Wine Academy (based at South Seattle Community College) and the International Kitchen School Fernando Perez de Valladolid.

The agreement will result in the establishment of a half-year course for wine stewardship at the school, running from January through June. The course will include 250 hours of instruction, 100 hours of work outside the class and a final project. The student judged to be the best will earn an all-expense paid, week-long trip to New York for additional training in "one of the best hotels" and play the "role of the ambassador of wines of Castilla and Leon."

The signing of this agreement was covered in the Spanish media.
English  Spanish