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Oklahoma signs deal with South Korean province to boost aerospace industry

Oklahoma has signed a memorandum of understanding with the South Korean province of South Gyeongsang to boost the state's aerospace and defense industry.

Oklahoma Secretary of State Chris Benge signed a document Sept. 8 with officials from South Gyeongsang in Changwon, South Korea. The agreement is aimed at fostering collaboration and trade through the exchange of industry expertise and reciprocal visits by senior officials. Both regions have a large presence in the aerospace sector.

Big manufacturing center

Gyeongsang also is the largest manufacturing center in South Korea.

"Both Oklahoma and South Gyeongsang are internationally recognized as hubs for the aerospace industry, and leaders in manufacturing and innovation," Benge said in a statement. "This reciprocal agreement is a win-win for both parties and brings with it many potential opportunities for Oklahoma companies to expand sales of products made here to the growing South Korean market."

Officials said the memorandum of understanding and recent dialogue among government leaders serve as a framework for South Korean companies to invest in Oklahoma and create new jobs in the state.

Diversifying state economy

“Oklahoma's aerospace industry is well established and growing. This MOU not only raises our presence on the global stage, but it also promotes diversification in our economy. Diversity in manufacturing is very important,” said Jennifer Springer, director of International Trade and Foreign Investment for the Oklahoma Commerce Department.

The Commerce Department expects trade to increase between the two parties due to the memorandum of understanding and the resulting investment and partnerships. Oklahoma currently enjoys a trade surplus with South Korea with 2015 imports totaling $65 million and exports of more than $79 million.

Brianna Bailey

Brianna Bailey joined The Oklahoman in January 2013 as a business writer. During her time at The Oklahoman, she has walked across Oklahoma City twice, once north-to-south down Western Avenue, and once east-to-west, tracing the old U.S. Route 66.... Read more ›

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