Gov. Chris Gregoire to visit Costco on Korea trade mission

September 25, 2012

By Staff

NEW — 4 p.m. Sept. 25, 2012

Gov. Chris Gregoire plans to a visit a Costco in South Korea on a trade mission to tout Washington companies and products.

Issaquah-based Costco operates eight warehouses in South Korea. Gregoire’s visit to the warehouse is meant to promote Washington foods.

The governor is due to depart Sept. 30 on a 10-day trade mission to India and South Korea. The governor, alongside almost 50 Washington business, education and government leaders, plan to promote Evergreen State agriculture, commerce and technology on the trip.

Gregoire is visiting South Korea at the request of President Lee Myung-bak. Lee extended the invitation during a visit to Washington last year.

In addition to the Costco stop in South Korea, Gregoire plans to serve Washington-produced french fries to customers at a Popeye’s restaurant and meet business leaders.

The choice to serve potatoes is significant, because the U.S-Korea Free Trade Agreement signed in March eliminated an 18-percent traffic on U.S. frozen potatoes.

The initial stop on Gregoire’s overseas trip is India. The governor plans to arrive in Hyderabad on Oct. 2 and then stop in Delhi and Mumbai.

In 2011, India ranked as Washington’s 24th-largest export market for goods.

“I will be the first governor to lead a trade mission to India, where the opportunities are significant,” Gregoire said in a statement. “As India’s economy thrives, we know that consumers there are seeking more imported products from the United States. This is our opportunity to get out in front, and make sure that consumers and businesses in India are aware of the quality items produced in Washington state. I’m confident our efforts will lead to business expansions and new jobs for Washingtonians.”

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