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Archive for Friday, September 25, 2009

Kansas officials prepare to sign wheat agreement with Taiwan

September 25, 2009, 10:39 a.m. Updated September 25, 2009, 5:49 p.m.

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— Business and government officials from Kansas and Taiwan signed an agreement Friday that outlined plans for Taiwanese flour millers to buy $425 million worth of wheat from the U.S. over two years, much of it from Kansas.

Gov. Mark Parkinson and the head of Taiwan’s Economic and Cultural Office in Kansas City, Mo., described the agreement as solidifying an already long-standing trade relationship. Parkinson said it also would benefit the state as the U.S. economy struggles.

“Part of our short-term answer to getting out of this recession is our export market,” Parkinson said. “Part of our long-term prosperity will be our trade and our exports.”

They participated in a signing ceremony in the Kansas Senate chamber, watched by legislators and other state officials. Kansas was hosting an eight-member delegation of Taiwanese business and government leaders.

“In the future, definitely, I look forward to working with the state of Kansas, strengthening these close ties of the friendship and trade relationship,” said Jacqueline Liu, director general of Taiwan’s consulate in Kansas City. “Certainly, we will come back again and again.”

The agreement is between the Taiwan Flour Mills Association and Kansas Wheat, a partnership of the Kansas Wheat Commission and the Kansas Association of Wheat Growers. Signing it were Shao-Fu Hung, the Taiwanese group’s executive director, and Justin Gilpin, chief executive officer of Kansas Wheat, with Parkinson and Liu as official witnesses.

The document says the Taiwanese group intends to buy 62.5 million bushels of hard red winter wheat, used in making bread, in 2010 and 2011.

The exact source of the wheat isn’t specified, just that a “significant portion” will come from Kansas farms. Kansas agriculture officials said most will come from Kansas, but the Department of Commerce said all of it will.

Kansas and Taiwanese officials last signed such an agreement over wheat in 2003, and Taiwan’s imports of American wheat has averaged 40 million tons annually since 1998.

“Part of our short-term answer to getting out of this recession is our export market,” Parkinson said. “Part of our long-term prosperity will be our trade and our exports.”

Kansas exports of wheat, corn and sorghum last year were a record $1.2 billion, though commerce officials expect some decline this year because of the economy. Taiwan was Kansas’ 16th largest trading partner in 2008, importing almost $161 million worth of products.

Comments

Bladerunner 4 years, 6 months ago

In exchange we get a bunch of cheaply made souvenirs and trinkets!

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toe 4 years, 6 months ago

We can put the Taiwanese on the Wheaties Box.

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