PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Just back from a trade mission to South Korea and Japan, Oregon Gov. Kate Brown held a press conference Tuesday afternoon.

Brown spent 12 days visiting the two countries alongside representatives from the agriculture, tourism, higher education, apparel, technology and manufacturing industries. It was her first trip to Asia since 2019.

Asian trade and tourism play huge roles in Oregon’s economy. Japan is one of the largest foreign investors in Oregon and South Korea is a key location for exports. Overall, the two locations represent 11% of Oregon’s global export market.

In a statement before she left, Brown said, “Oregon has strong relationships in South Korea and Japan that have been built on decades of trade and the shared values of economic growth, environmental stewardship, and a desire for a better tomorrow.”

Brown said that the timing was perfect for “Oregon to rekindle and strengthen our existing trade relations with both countries.”

“It was a wonderful opportunity to pursue new economic development opportunties for Oregon companies,” Brown said. “Oregon’s strong trade relationship with Korea and Japan has contributed to Oregon being the fifth fastest export growth in the United States over the last five years.”

Brown also said that Oregon was one of only six states to see positive export growth during the pandemic.

The entire press conference can be viewed above.