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Representative from 20 Utah businesses recently returned from a trade mission to Seoul, Korea, and Taipei, Taiwan. Led by the Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED) from March 15-23, the trip provided the participating companies with opportunities for networking and market research as well as exhibiting at international trade shows.

“Korea and Taiwan are both among Utah’s top 10 export destinations,” said Brett Heimburger, director of GOED’s International Trade and Diplomacy Office. “Trade missions deepen our relationships with these countries and provide important opportunities, especially to small companies that may not be able to make essential connections otherwise.”

The mission began in Korea, where company leaders received briefings on the intricacies of conducting business in the country and participated in business-to-business meetings and networking receptions designed to open doors for trade opportunities and international expansion. The delegation also visited the University of Utah Asia Campus in Songdo, a “smart city” leading out on sustainability and technology infrastructure.

Five companies presented as part of the Utah booth at the Korea International Medical and Hospital Equipment (KIMES) Show.

In Taiwan, GOED worked with the local government and media to highlight Utah as an important trade partner and destination for foreign direct investment. Several Utah companies also joined the Utah booth at the Taipei International Cycle Show.

Six of the 20 companies traveled to both countries for site visits and business meetings. Salt Lake City-based software development company Pixio was one of them.

“What began as an exploratory adventure into Asian government and trade groups has rapidly turned into a hotbed of new projects and new associations,” said Lorenzo Swank, founder and chairman of Pixio. “We did not expect to have such direct access to high-level government and industry officials. It was an extremely productive trip.”

Among other outcomes, Pixio developed working relationships with several associations and is poised to launch joint projects with the Korea Integrated Logistics Association, Korea Fashion Association and the Taiwan Ministry of Economic Affairs. 

The trade mission was organized by GOED with support from World Trade Center Utah and trade show participation was made possible by the U.S. Small Business Administration and State Trade and Expansion Program (STEP). 

Businesses that participated in the Utah Trade Mission to Korea and Taiwan were BiologiQ, Converus, Fezzari, Fiber Fix, iLumens/Innosys, Klymit, Larada Sciences, Lineagen, Lizard Skins, MagLock, Maxtec, Mercury Wheels, PenBlade, Pixio, Promotus, Stander, Summit Medical, TCR, TeraFlex and Tycon.