October 02, 2003
According to a news release, Murkowski has been invited by Taiwan President Chen Shui-bian to receive an honor, the "Order of Propitius Clouds with Grand Cordon" for his many years of support and contribution to Taiwan. The presentation is scheduled for Monday afternoon.
"The fast-growing economies of Asia present real market opportunities for Alaska's natural resources, and we intend to maximize our share of those markets," Murkowski said. "As consumer demand rises in Asia, our production and value-added processing can and should rise to meet it.
"Over the past decade or so, the relationship with our Asian trading partners has been neglected. However, our proximity to our Asian neighbors has not changed. Our natural resources - fish, timber, minerals - are still here and we are going to make them available to buyers and consumers who want them."
Murkowski noted the growth among Asian countries. For example, Korea's GDP has grown from a minus 6.7 percent rate in 1998 to a positive 6.3 percent in 2002. And Hong Kong moved from minus 5.0 to a positive 2.3 during the same years.
According to the news release, Murkowski will meet with the heads of state in the nations he will visit.
Murkowski has led trade missions to Asia for more than 30 years, going back to when he served as Commissioner of the Department of Commerce in 1967-68. He took trade missions to Asia numerous times during his 22 years as a United States Senator. This trip is his first to Asia as Governor of Alaska.
In addition to heads of state, Murkowski will meet with a variety of Asian business people interested in importing Alaskan products. In Taiwan (October 4-7), he will meet with officials of Tai Power to discuss coal imports, with Chinese National Petroleum on LNG, with Formosa Plastics, and will sign MOUs on importing Alaska produce with UNI and Agrow.
In Japan (October 8-9), the delegation will meet with Tokyo Gas Corporation, Nichiro Corporation, and Sumitomo Metals Mining Corporation. In addition, meetings have been requested with top officials of Mitsubishi, Mitsui, Kyokuyo Corporation and Nippon Suisan Kaisha (both seafood importers), and Rio Tinto Japan, the importer of silver/zinc concentrate from Greens Creek Mine near Juneau.
Most of Murkowski's meetings in Hong Kong (October 10-12) will concentrate on forest products and seafood. He will also meet with officials from CSX Terminal and Logistics.
In South Korea (October 13-14),
Murkowski will sign an agreement for importing Alaska coal with
Hyundai Merchant Marine and Korea East West Power. He also will
meet with DaeRim Corporation regarding seafood, the Korea International
Trade Association (KITA), Hanjin Travel, DongWha Lumber, Da In
Forest Company, Korea Gas Corporation, and has requested a meeting
with officials from Korea Zinc Company.
Source of News Release: