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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Eye On Boise

Guv back from trade mission

Gov. Dirk Kempthorne, business leaders and state commerce officials couldn’t say enough good things today about their just-concluded two-week trade mission to Asia. The governor led a delegation of 23 Idaho companies and organizations, and made stops in Japan, South Korea, China and Taiwan. At a press conference in his office, Kempthorne waved a colorful Idaho Travel Guide, which looked standard from a distance. “If you get up close to it, you’ll see that it’s all in Mandarin,” he said. “We’re the first state to do that.”

Kempthorne and other members of the Idaho delegation met with the president of Taiwan, the vice president of Japan, and numerous business, government, tourism and trade officials. State Agriculture Director Pat Takasugi said the trip gave him hope that Japanese markets will soon reopen to Idaho beef, which is going over well now in Taiwan. Asian markets are now seven of Idaho’s top 10 trading partners, according to state Commerce and Labor chief Roger Madsen. “We can’t afford to ignore the importance of these markets to Idaho companies,” he said.

Part of the cost of the trade mission was picked up by corporate sponsor Zions Bank and the businesses that participated; the state spent about $120,000.

Eye On Boise

News, happenings and more from the Idaho Legislature and the state capital.