Saturday, May 18, 2024

Goehner leads delegation to South Korea to discuss economic development, further international relations

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12th District Representative Keith Goehner recently led a delegation of legislators to South Korea to strengthen international relations and get a firsthand look at economic development occurring in the country.

As part of his legislative duties, Goehner sits on the Legislative Committee on Economic Development and International Relations (LCEDIR).

"With the global pandemic limiting international travel the last few years, we have not had an opportunity to visit other countries and get a close look at some of the successful economic development other countries are experiencing and how we could possibly work together," said Goehner, R-Dryden. "The South Korea trip was truly unique. We toured a carbon fiber facility that ties to their aerospace industry. Obviously, that is a focus for us here in Washington state. We also learned more about their bio pharmaceuticals, medical grade supplements, and we were able to check out Saemangeum, the largest seawall in the world. It was very impressive."

The LCEDIR studies and reviews economic development issues with an emphasis on international trade, tourism, investment and industrial development. It also assists the Legislature in developing comprehensive economic development policy.

"The carbon fiber facility supplies Boeing with wing parts and they would like to expand the use of carbon products produced by the facility in our region. There was also a facility producing hydrogen tanks, which fits with what we are working on here," added Goehner. "We also learned South Korea is very interested in Washington state growing crops for them, which would be a big boost for our agricultural industry."

There are approximately 60,000 Koreans living in Washington. Goehner is the only one of the LCEDIR members who made the trip to South Korea. However, he was accompanied by 25th Legislative District Sen. Chris Gildon and 28th Legislative District Rep. Mari Leavitt, who have many Koreans residing in their districts.

"Korea showed a lot of interest in working with us on economic-related issues. Anything we can do to promote our state and work with other countries can only benefit us. This committee gives us an opportunity to promote our competitive advantages and industries," said Goehner.

By law, Lieutenant Gov. Denny Heck chairs the LCEDIR. The 13-member panel is comprised of an evenly split membership of House and the Senate members, appointed by the chair.

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