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  • Pima County and Jinju, South Korea, agree to promote trade, tourism

    Dec 12, 2014 | Read More News
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    Jinju South Korea visitPublic officials and trade representatives from Jinju City, South Korea, met with Pima County officials Friday as part of a four-day economic tour of Phoenix and Tucson.

    Pima County Board of Supervisors Chair Sharon Bronson and Jinju Mayor Lee Chang-Hee signed a memorandum of understanding to promote the growth of tourism, trade and cultural exchanges between the county and Jinju.

    South Korea is the world’s 15th largest economy and is a growing trade partner with Arizona and Pima County. County Administrator Chuck Huckelberry has added South Korea to the update of the county’s Economic Development Plan to foster increased trade and tourism with Korea and increase South Korea’s Foreign Direct Investment in Pima County.

    Former Tucson Mayor Bob Walkup serves as Arizona’s honorary consul to South Korea. In that capacity, he led tourism missions to South Korea that have created opportunities for metro Tucson to start a lantern festival in 2015 similar to the Jinju Lantern Festival, which attracted three million visitors in 2014. The 10-day lantern festival is a national event and held only in Jinju, a city of about 340,000 on the peninsula’s southern coast. 

    The Jinju delegation started its trip in Phoenix Wednesday, met with city of Tucson officials Thursday and toured the Fourth Avenue Street Fair Friday before meeting with Pima County officials. The delegation also toured the Port of Tucson, an inland port that is a key component to Tucson’s growing logistics industry. 

    Chair Bronson and Mayor Lee exchanged gifts and talked for about an hour about how each government could benefit the other.

    Among the ideas discussed were:
    • Hosting a version of the Jinju lantern festival in Tucson, which would be marketed regionally, including to people of Korean descent living throughout the Southwest.
    • Provide warehousing and logistics support for a Lantern Festival tour of other U.S. cities.
    • Developing “hosting” packages to bring in Korean Professional Baseball League and Korean Baseball Organization teams to train at Kino Sports Complex.
    • An economic development delegation from Southern Arizona travelling to South Korea to promote trade and tourism here.
    • Inviting other South Korean elected officials and business executives to Pima County to discuss tourism and trade opportunities.
    Jinju South Korea visit