Iowa leadership to lead trade missions to South Korea, Brazil

By Gov. Terry E. Branstad's Office | April 09, 2015

Iowa Gov. Terry E. Branstad and Lt. Governor Kim Reynolds announced that they will lead trade missions to South Korea and Brazil respectively.  Both trips are aimed at expanding trade and investment opportunities and are being coordinated by the Iowa Economic Development Authority.

Brazil is Iowa’s fifth-largest trading partner, with exports exceeding $500 million in manufactured and value-added goods in 2014.  South Korea is Iowa’s ninth-largest export destination, with exports close to $367 million in manufactured and value-added goods during the same period.  The governor and lieutenant governor have led trade missions to both destinations in the past.

“We have reaped benefit from previous trade missions and look forward to building on the foundations we have laid in the past,” Branstad said.  “Trade missions like this one allow Iowa companies to expand their export markets outside of the U.S. and ultimately create more jobs here at home.”

Iowa companies in all industry sectors are participating or will be invited to participate in these trade missions.  Companies will have one-on-one, pre-qualified appointments targeted to their objectives, whether that is developing or expanding direct export sales, locating distributors or agents, or conducting market research, among other goals.  Company recruitment for the Brazil mission has already concluded, while recruitment for the South Korea mission will begin shortly.

“These trade missions will help build on Iowa’s success in exporting to Brazil and South Korea and will continue to strengthen our partnership with these countries,” Reynolds said. “With a record-breaking $15.1 billion in exports last year, Iowa is truly prospering from international trade.  It is important that we continue this positive momentum.”

Under Gov. Branstad and Lt. Gov. Reynolds, Iowa’s exports have increased by nearly 39 percent, from $10.8 billion to $15.1 billion.

The Brazil mission will take place April 25 – May 2 and is comprised of visits to Sao Paulo and Ribeirão Preto. The South Korea mission is scheduled for September 7-13, with Seoul being the primary destination for this mission.  Highlights for both missions include exploring foreign direct investment opportunities, meetings with government and industry association officials, briefings on each market and Growing Iowa’s Global Partnerships events.  Iowa companies will participate in meetings specific to their market entry or expansion needs.

The IEDA not only markets Iowa products and services, educates Iowa businesses on exporting and assists global companies wishing to establish or expand operations in Iowa, but also explores opportunities internationally for investment within the state.   To find out more about these services or other trade missions that the IEDA is planning, please visit the organization’s website

Taxpayer dollars will not be spent on the governor’s and lt. governor’s travel. Their travel will be paid by private donations to the Iowa Economic Development Authority Foundation.