Nov 5, 2013 2:32 PM by Faye DeHoff
PHOENIX - Governor Jan Brewer will lead a delegation of Arizona business and tourism industry leaders to Taiwan this Thursday as part of her continued effort to strengthen economic ties between the State of Arizona and international trade partners.
"This mission further underscores my commitment to Arizona's economic recovery, job creation and long-term global competiveness," said Governor Brewer. "We have been working hard since the Recession to make Arizona a first-rate destination to travel, start or grow a business and make a living - and our efforts have paid dividends. To stay the course, it is imperative that we continue to promote our state on a global scale, showing foreign markets that Arizona is a worthy investment."
"We are proud to enjoy a longstanding relationship with Taiwan, and we recognize its value to our state economy. By bringing our economic comeback story and business-friendly environment directly to an international audience, we stand to greatly expand and strengthen these important ties. This week, Taiwan will hear our message loud and clear: Arizona is open for business!"
Joining Governor Brewer on the week-long economic development mission is a delegation of key figures in Arizona business and tourism, including leaders from the Arizona Chamber of Commerce, Arizona Commerce Authority and Arizona Office of Tourism. The focus of the delegation is to identify and foster import and export opportunities with Taiwan, boost existing trade and government relations and showcase Arizona as a premier location in which to invest and do business.
"These trade missions are critically important to growing Arizona's profile on the world stage as an outstanding place to invest," said Glenn Hamer, President and CEO of the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry. "We applaud Governor Brewer for taking the initiative to sell Arizona's exceptional business environment in a vital world market like Taiwan. To have our state's chief executive lead this delegation speaks volumes of Arizona's ability to compete for jobs on a global scale."
Taiwan is Arizona's 13th-largest export trade partner and 7th-largest import trade partner. In 2012, Arizona exported more than $320 million worth of products and goods to Taiwan, the majority including machinery, electrical equipment and optics/medical instruments. Imports from Taiwan totaled more than $530 million in 2012. Electrical equipment, machinery and vehicle parts and accessories are Arizona's three largest imports from Taiwan.
"Taiwan's top imports strategically align with Arizona's strengths in semiconductors, electronics and information technology products, and this alignment presents incredible opportunity for our state," said Sandra Watson, President and CEO of the Arizona Commerce Authority. "Our focus is on strengthening relationships in these key industry areas to continue to grow Arizona's exports, resulting in a stronger, more sustainable statewide economy."
Tourism will be another significant focus of the governor's delegation. As Arizona's top export industry, tourism drove approximately 38 million global visitors to Arizona in 2012, generating about $19.3 billion to the state economy.
"Travel from Taiwan to the U.S. has risen significantly and is projected to increase even more over the next several years," said Sherry Henry, Director of the Arizona Office of Tourism. "This mission represents a wonderful opportunity to build upon this growing tourist activity and continue to develop this important relationship to the economic benefit of both Arizona and Taiwan."