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Gov. Dayton and delegation off to Korea on trade trip

Annyongi kyeseyo, Gov. Dayton. That’s Korean for goodbye (I hope).

The governor leaves today with a 24-member delegation for a nine-day trade mission to South Korea, with a stop first in Japan for a trade conference and meetings.

For those keeping score at home, here’s the itinerary, courtesy of the governor’s office:

Today: Gov. Dayton and the group of business, agriculture and academic leaders depart Minnesota.

Saturday: Arrive in Tokyo.

Sunday: Gov. Dayton will meet with students from the College of St. Benedict/St. John’s University who are studying in Tokyo and then meet with board members of the Japan Minnesota Association, before attending a sumo wrestling tournament at Kokugikan Sumo Stadium. In the evening, attend a meeting and reception for the Midwest U.S.-Japan Association.

Monday: Meet with Delta Japan executives in the morning, and later with Sumitomo 3M President Jesse Singh. At the Midwest U.S.-Japan Conference, Gov. Dayton will deliver welcoming remarks at the opening session of the conference, and will invite attendees to the 2012 Midwest U.S.-Japan Conference, which will be hosted in Minnesota. Michael Langley, CEO of Greater MSP, will also address conference attendees. Gov. Dayton will meet with Saitama Prefecture Governor Kiyoshi Ueda before departing Tokyo in the afternoon. He’ll then travel to Kyoto, Japan, via high-speed rail. Central Japan Rail will provide a tour of the engineer control car during the train trip to provide a briefing on Japanese technology in this sector. And he’ll  attend a dinner with Noriyuki Inoue, chairman and CEO of Daikin Industries, which is the parent company of McQuay International. After dinner, he’ll travel to Osaka, Japan.

Tuesday: In Osaka, Gov. Dayton will have a breakfast meeting with leadership of the Osaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry (OCCI) and the U.S. Consul General in Osaka. The OCCI will host a roundtable discussion focused on biobusiness/life sciences industries in Minnesota and Japan. Also at this event will be Dale Wahlstrom, president and CEO of the BioBusiness Alliance of Minnesota, an organization dedicated to the advancement of bioscience-based businesses in Minnesota. Gov. Dayton will tour Daikin Solutions Plaza and Factory, including the “Solutions Plaza,” where the company’s newest technologies are highlighted. The Kanaoka Factory is home to Daikin’s air-conditioning division and transportation and refrigeration systems division. In the afternoon, Gov. Dayton will travel to Seoul, South Korea, and will host a traditional Korean welcome dinner for the members of the Minnesota trade delegation in the evening.

Wednesday: Gov. Dayton and the delegation will be briefed by U.S. Embassy staff from the U.S. Commercial Service and Agricultural Trade Office, who will give a geopolitical and business overview of South Korea. The delegation will then attend a lunch, hosted by the American Chamber of Commerce, for a briefing on conducting business in South Korea. Governor Dayton and the Minnesota delegation will network with the American Chamber of Commerce board of directors and executives from Minnesota companies in South Korea, including Cargill, 3M and Medtronic. Later in the afternoon, Gov. Dayton will meet with Junki Kim, chairman of the Dongbu Group, at Dongbu headquarters.  The Minnesota delegation will attend a networking event hosted by the Korea International Trade Association (KITA), which is the largest business association in South Korea. Mark Phillips, commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development, will make a presentation titled “Investing in Minnesota,” and members of the delegation will have business-to-business meetings with South Korean companies through KITA’s matchmaking service.  That evening, Gov. Dayton will meet with Seung Youn Kim, chairman of Hanwha Corp., and the delegation will have business meetings with Hanwha’s agriculture, renewable energy and green technologies and lifesciences divisions. Following the meetings, the governor and delegation will have dinner with the chairman and other leaders of Hanwha.

Thursday: Gov. Dayton will meet with Jong-hoon Kim, minister of trade in the Republic of Korea. Then he’ll meet with Chairman Keh-sik Min of Hyundai Heavy Industries and Vice Chairman Chul-Seak Shin of STX Corp. In the evening, the Minnesota delegation and South Korean guests will attend a reception hosted by Ambassador Stephens in honor of Governor Dayton and the Minnesota delegation, at the U.S. Ambassador’s Residence in Seoul.

Friday: Gov. Dayton will host a wreath-laying ceremony at the Korea War Memorial to honor Minnesota’s fallen soldiers. He’ll host a lunch with Minnesota troops and their spouses stationed in Seoul and will later tour the Korean Demilitarized Zone (DMZ). That evening, Gov. Dayton will host members of the Minnesota delegation for a farewell reception.

Sat. Oct. 1: Governor Dayton and the Minnesota delegation will depart Seoul and travel to Minneapolis.

And then we can say: “Annyeong haseyo, Gov. Dayton.” (Hello)

And maybe he’ll say: “Meotjin hanguk iyaeyo!” (Korea’s great.)

Comments (1)

  1. Submitted by Dennis Tester on 09/24/2011 - 08:23 am.

    Crony capitalism. The government should not be picking winners and losers by inviting some companies along on a trade mission and not others. How much $ did those companies contribute?

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