Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds will lead a trade mission to the Philippines and Vietnam in February to push Iowa pork in Southeast Asia and potentially bring foreign investment to the state.
“Both countries have shown tremendous economic growth and continue to be open to new business opportunities — it makes sense for us to have a presence there and I am pleased to be leading this effort,” Reynolds said as she stood by Gov. Terry Branstad when he announced the trip Monday at a Statehouse news conference.
“The basic components of growing international trade are two things,” Branstad said. “First is an open and fair market and secondly, salesmanship.”
He said he met with ambassadors from Vietnam and the Philippines when he was in Washington, D.C., earlier this month and both expressed interest in the trade mission.
Branstad and Reynolds have been on trade missions together or separately to Brazil, South Korea, Japan and China in the past two years.
The itinerary for the February trip includes stops at Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam and Manila in the Philippines, Reynolds said. She added that people interested in being part of the delegation can sign up through the Iowa Economic Development Authority at $1,000 or $3,000 levels. The fees cover transportation, group breakfasts and dinners. The higher fee covers business appointment scheduling and other amenities, according to an IEDA statement on the trip. Reynolds said Iowans who become part of the delegation will have the opportunity to show off their company’s products to potential international customers.
“Oftentimes you don’t see immediate results from this; it’s building relationships,” Branstad said. “For instance, when Vice President Xi Jinping was here, there was big delegation that bought $3.4 billion worth of soybeans. But if you really want to go back, I’d say you want to go back to his first visit here in 1985 when we started that relationship.”