SALEM, Ore. - Governor Kitzhaber concluded his Asia trade mission with three days of meetings in Japan, reaffirming and developing new business investment for Oregon.
Japanese food, commodity and technology companies expanded operations in Oregon in 2012. They indicated during meetings with the governor and a trade delegation of Oregon companies, farmers, and entrepreneurs, that they are poised for more growth in 2013.
More than 100 Japanese companies have operations in Oregon, and new investment is having an impact across the state – from Kurotani Corporation and Toyukni Knives' new Portland offices, to Calbee North America's planned $25 million investment to begin producing potato chips in Boardman, to Marubeni's expansion of Columbia Grain's storage capacity at the Port of Portland.
Hitachi High Technologies announced in August that it would invest around $30 million to establish a Process Engineering Center in Hillsboro to strengthen its customer support capabilities.
"I am encouraged by the investment and expansion plans many Japanese companies have for their Oregon operations," said Governor Kitzhaber. "I return to Oregon more convinced than ever that Oregon's emphasis on innovation is the right approach. The world is tapping Oregon ideas, Oregon technology and Oregon's workforce. We have a lot to offer."
The Governor met with corporate leaders of existing and potential new partners for Oregon, including Shimadzu, Panasonic, Nichicon and Tokyo Electron. The relationship with Shimadzu was established during the Governor's 1990 trade mission to Kyoto. Since that mission, Shimadzu has built and expanded an advanced manufacturing facility in Canby and currently employs more than 100 Oregonians there.
Other members of the delegation, including representatives from the business, dairy and farming communities, laid the groundwork for new potential customers and partnerships and helped make the case that Oregon is open for investment.
Throughout the trade mission, Oregon's strong ties to Asia were apparent, from the Tillamook Cheese and Oregon Country Beef on the shelves of Hong Kong grocery stores; to the grand opening of Nike's new store in Shanghai (the third largest in the world); to popular Japanese snacks made from Oregon-grown potatoes.